Become a Christmas engineer with this simple sleigh building challenge using egg cartons! Kids will love this Santa sleigh STEM challenge!
At STEAMsational, we like to make our holidays filled with Christmas science experiments.
We have conducted many amazing Christmas STEM activities already, and the girls are having a blast!
In this particular engineering activity for kids, I challenged the girls to create a new sleigh design for Santa using egg cartons.
The designs they came up with were so cute and they had a blast making them.
See how to make your own sleigh-building Christmas STEM activity below!
STEM Sleigh Challenge for Elementary Kids
Elementary kids will have a lot of fun making their own Santa sleigh designs!
Follow these directions and learn how to set up your own Santa sleigh STME challenge with your students.
What To Include in a STEM Sleigh Challenge
This Santa STEM challenge focuses on the engineering side of STEM. Children should focus on how to improve on the standard sleigh design.
Students should consider the weaknesses of the traditional sleigh design and try to create designs that would address those problems.
You can also include other conditions, as desired, such as to limit the size of the vehicle, or require that the design slide on ice or withstand a variety of weather conditions.
When testing the designs, don’t hold back on your tests, elementary kids love the testing process and will enjoy that part almost as much as the design phase!
What you’ll need for the build a sled STEM challenge:
- Popsicle sticks
- Egg cartons
- Paint (we like acrylic paint because it is fast drying, but you can also use washable paint)
- Something to represent Santa (we used a LEGO person)
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks (or jumbo glue sticks for younger kids)
We also like to have STEM supplies on hand at all times, which I’ve linked below using affiliate links.
If you buy through these links, I will earn a small comission on the sale but it won’t cost you anything extra!
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Build a Santa Sleigh STEM Challenge Advanced Set-Up
Before I called the kids over, I set everything they would need for the challenge on our table.
I also pre-cut some of the egg cartons apart so they wouldn’t have to get bogged down with that.
STEM Sleigh Challenge Directions
I challenged the girls to come up with different sleigh designs for Santa.
They came up with three designs: A snowboard style sleigh, a double cart sleigh, and my personal favorite, the insulated sleigh.
The reason for this one was they thought Santa should be better protected from the elements since he is traveling during the winter.
After designing their sleighs, I let the girls paint them and decorate them how they liked.
Once the paint dried, we put out test “Santa” and gifts in our sleigh to see how well they worked.
The snowboard design didn’t work as well as the other two since there was no place for presents (which would obviously be a huge problem for Santa), but the other two designs worked great!
The girls spent most of their afternoon playing with their new egg carton sleighs.