How do animals stay warm in the winter? What happens when snow melts? What is frost and how is it made? These are just a few of the questions I have been asked when teaching young children when the winter season starts. This collection of winter STEM activities are a great way to teach, and show children the answers to their questions as they explore the world around them.
If you have never done a STEM activity before, STEM activities involve learning focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The more of these subject areas combined together into an activity the better.
The benefits of STEM activities and STEM challenges for kids are endless. I have watched children develop critical skills such as, problem solving, understanding how things work, teamwork and resilience through STEM activities.
STEM activities often use simple, every day materials and often don’t require much prep work. They are ideal for classroom learning, or they can easily be done at home.
The collection of Winter STEM Activities below include a variety of learning activities, all with a winter theme. I hope that you find some ideas to bring to your children, or students, as you look through the collection of activities, beginning with science.
Science Winter STEM Activities
Creating a love for science and experiments is a great way to get children to look closely at the world around them. Encourage children to ask questions and use their hands to explore. These winter STEM activities are sure to engage children and offer valuable learning opportunities.
Melting Snowman Science Experiment
Children are naturally drawn to snow in the winter. Have children create their own miniature snowman to use for a science experiment guaranteed to cause some excitement in the classroom or home. Click here for full activity.
Candy Cane STEM Activity
If you find you have candy canes around your house during the winter season, this science experiment is a great way to use them up. All you need is water and candy canes to do this exciting experiment. For the full activity, click here.
Animals in Winter Scavenger Hunt + Printable
Learn about what different animals do in winter with a scavenger hunt. Children will enjoy being outside as they search for different animals to find what they each do during winter. A FREE printable is also available. To view the full activity, click here.
Frozen STEM Activity + Free Worksheet
Let kids feel like real scientists with this frozen STEM activity. Use a variety of items that you have around the house or classroom and create a frozen treasure that children can use a variety of tools and materials to explore and experiment with. A free printable is available for the activity as well. For the full activity, click here.
Animal Adaptation Science Experiment
How does a polar bear stay warm? I get asked this a lot when teaching young children. This hands-on experiment allows children to explore their curiosity about animals in winter. Click for full STEM activity.
Whether you live in a location where winters are mild, or if it is much too cold to play outside, you can still have all the fun of playing in the frost and snow in your own kitchen when you do this frost experiment. Click for full activity.
Magic Snow Winter STEM Activity
Playing in the snow is always a good time. But if you can’t get the real thing or just don’t want to deal with the cold and wet, this simple two-ingredient “magic” snow is the perfect kids activity to keep children busy for an afternoon. Click here for full experiment and activity.
Flying Reindeer STEM Challenge
Want to see a reindeer fly this winter? You can make it happen with this fun winter STEAM activity! Click here for full activity.
Grow Your Own Snowflake Winter STEM Activities
Growing Crystals from Borax is a really fun activity to try at home. Here we show you how to grow crystal stars to hang on your Christmas Tree. Click here for full activity.
Melting Snowmen Experiment
Enjoy a cup of coco while doing this adorable science experiment. How fast will each snowman melt? Which will melt first? Does the temperature of the coco make a difference? Have fun testing your hypothesis with these winter STEM activities. Click here for full activity.
How Penguins Stay Dry
We throw on a jacket when the weather gets cold to stay dry and warm, but what do other animals do, like penguins? Show children with this hands-on experiment that allows them to see with their own eyes. Click here for full activity.
Simple Snow and Ice Science
This is a simple idea for a science experiment, which is perfect for experiments at home or in the classroom. Plus, there is a lot of learning that happens. Click here for full activity.
Salt and Ice
Sometimes salt is used on ice to help make it less slippery, but why? This experiment shows, and explains why for curious children. Click here for full activity.
Frozen Bubbles Winter STEM Activities
How beautiful is this frozen bubble? Creating a perfect frozen bubble, is easier than you may think. This is a great experiment for home or the classroom. Click for full activity.
If you don’t live in a place with actual snow, or you simply don’t want the cold or the melting mess, there are lots of ways to make fake snow for children to play with. The blue snow looks like lots of fun! Click here for full activity.
Ice Fishing Winter STEM Activity
Can you pick up an ice cube without touching it? This science experiment involves a bit of play and lots of learning. Click here for full activity.
Winter Magic Milk Experiment
Add a fun twist to the always popular magic milk experiment. Make it festive with this Winter Magic Milk experiment. Click here for full activity.
Frost in a Jar
There is a lot of science in this one experiment. Use materials that you already have at home to create some frost in a jar. Click for full activity description.
Oil and Ice Experiment
If you have experimented with oil and water before, you’ll want to try this twist on the experiment. Children will learn about density, color mixing, states of matter and more. Click for full activity.
Ice Tower Winter STEM activity
I’ve always wanted to try this with my kids! Experiments like this are almost magical and create a love and curiosity for science. Click for full activity.
Ice Crystals Science Experiment
There are a lot of big science ideas in this science experiment, and for little learners it gives them a hands-on way to see how ice crystals form and the science behind it. Click here for full activity.
Burning Ice STEM Activity
For older children, with an adult, you can test out if you can burn ice. This is a great experiment for inquiry investigations for older learners. Click here for full activity.
Snow Storm in a Jar
Learn about chemical reactions with this Snow Storm in a Jar. Kids will love creating their own jar and watching it as the reaction occurs. Click here for full activity description.
Glowing Ice Cubes
I don’t know any kids who wouldn’t love playing with these! A simple experiment that shows children how one simple ingredient can change regular ice cubes into glowing ice cubes. Click for full description.
Crystal Snowflakes Winter STEM Activities
There are lots of different ways to create crystal snowflakes. This STEM activity takes these experiments one step further by testing the different ways to create crystal snowflakes and comparing the results. Click for full activity.
Salt + Paper Snowflakes
Add a bit of art to your science class with these salt and paper snowflakes. Children will learn some science as they create beautiful crystal snowflakes for winter. Click here for full activity.
Snowstorm in a Jar
This experiment is beautiful to watch. Children will love doing this hands-on experiment and learning about the chemical reaction that occurs. Even adults will love watching the “snowstorm” that is created. Click here for full activity.
Snowflake Art + Science
Some of the best winter STEM activities involve several different learning experiences. This Crystal Snowflake activity allows children to be creative as they also learn what happens to a salt + water solution when it dries. Even the crystals that form are great to observe carefully. Click for full activity description.
There is science in everything! Learn the science behind this art project. Click for full activity.
Hot Chocolate Surprise
Hot chocolate and winter go hand in hand. Have some fun with a cup of coco with this exploding experiment that kids are sure to love. Click here for full activity.
Ice Cube Snowman
Teach about melting ice with this simple experiment that kids will love to watch. Pair this experiment with a classic winter book. Click here for full experiment.
Exploring Magnets + Art
Give children a chance to be creative as they make a skating scene. Add a science lesson to their learning with magnets attached to each skater. Children can learn about magnets and a little bit about how they work with this hands-on art and science project. Click here for full activity.
Optical Illusion Craft + STEM Learning
There is more to this beautiful craft than meets the eye. Children learn about optical illusions with this DIY thaumatrope. Click for instructions.
Engineering Winter STEM Activities
Get kids to create with their hands, with these building challenges – all with a winter theme.
Polar Bear Home STEM Challenge
Grab some marshmallows and toothpicks for this STEM activity. Challenge children to create a home for a polar bear using a few simple materials. You will be amazed by what they can come up with. For full activity click here.
Build a Snowman STEM Challenge
Use a few, creative, materials to challenge children to create a snowman. Using apples and oranges adds to the challenge and the learning, as they roll and the snowman falls. Click for full activity.
Tallest Snowman Winter STEM Activity
How tall can you make your snowman? Challenge children of all ages to create the tallest snowman using a few simple materials. Add to the challenge by requiring the snowman to stand! Click here for full activity.
Building with Snowballs
Learn about balance, shapes and problem solving with this building challenge. Use styrofoam balls, or snowballs, for this STEM building challenge. Click for full activity.
Snowman Popper STEM Challenge
My kids would quickly turn this craft into a STEM challenge. Create this adorable pom pom popper and kids can challenge each other to pop the pom pom the furthest. Children can alter their design as they play to get the furthest distance. Click here for full activity.
Winter STEM Activities – Printable Cards
Looking for some quick and easy winter STEM activities? These free activity cards are perfect to print and have on hand in the classroom or home. Click here to read more.
Math Winter STEM Activities
Math is often an easy skill to work into your winter STEM activities and can be added very naturally by measuring creations or working with numbers.
Roll and Build a Snowman Math Activity + Printable
Make math fun with this hands-on math activity. Children create their own snowman as they roll the dice. A FREE printable is also available for the activity. Click here for full activity description and worksheet.
Holiday Themed Math Worksheets
Keep the learning happening during the holidays with these FREE Christmas Math Worksheets and games. All worksheets are designed with early learners in mind! Click for more information.
Melting Snowman in a Jar Winter STEM Activity
Add some math to the melting snowman in a jar experiment. Children learn about the changes in the states of matter from snow to water and the volume each takes up. Click here for full activity.
Build a Symmetrical Snowflake
This hands-on math lesson involves creating beautiful, symmetrical snowflakes. Printable worksheet available. Click for full activity description.
FREE Resource Library
Many of the activities included in this collection of Winter STEM Activities can be downloaded from Hands-On Teaching Ideas. If you would like to access all of my free, printable resources, subscribe today and get instant access. Click to subscribe.
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More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
Winter is a great time to get a collection of themed resources and activities for kids. Below is a collection of my most popular, and favorite winter activities for kids. From a surprise snowman literacy activity and outdoor education activities to winter crafts and more STEM activities for kids.
If you are looking for more activities to try with children with the winter theme, check out my shop filled with printables for all subjects and themes. Below are my printable Winter activities and escape rooms!