With Christmas around the corner we decided to try a fun themed STEM activity. This Christmas indoor game turned out to be so much fun! This game is a great way to fire up the brain and get those little minds working and learning. Recommended ages: preschool ages from 3 to 5. Once they get older you can go for real circuits, this one is just pretend.
Christmas Indoor Game
- 2 x Egg cartons
- Paint for coloring the egg cartons
- Pipe cleaners: we used Christmas style pipe cleaners that were red, green, yellow and blue colors, 5 of each color
- Bells for extra decoration (optional)
- 2 x LED battery-operated lights with a switch
- Fun squeaky toy that can act as a buzzer
- Paper/markers/scissors to make the cards
To prepare the activity you will need to:
- Turn the egg cartons around and paint each row
- Once the paint has dried, poke a hole in each colored circle
- Prepare playing cards: We cut out card-sized pieces of paper and drew a color code on them: a line for the pipe cleaner color and two circles for the colors that it connects on the egg carton
Christmas Indoor Game Set up
Once you have all your materials it’s time to set up the game. Place the egg cartons on the LED lights and the buzzer between them. Cards can be placed on the table too.
How To Play The Christmas Indoor Game
We pretended we were connecting wires to see if we could get the lights to work. There are two playing modes:
Mode 1: Follow the code and connect the wires
2 players: Each player draws 1 – 3 cards depending on age and tries to connect the wires correctly. Once done, each player takes a turn to hit the buzzer and the other player switches the light on if the cables (pipe cleaners) are correct. If the lights don’t go on, then it’s time to take a look at what went wrong and try again.
3 players: Same as before but one player is in charge of the lights and the other two have to connect the wires correctly. The one in charge has to check that the wires are correct before turning on any lights.
Mode 2: Design and replicate
Each player takes a turn to become a creator and designs their own circuit. The other player then has to replicate it. Once it has been replicated, the player hits the buzzer and the creator (or a third player) turns both lights on if it is correct.
This activity is a great exercise for the brain!
🚥 First, it has children using a new language, a code, to follow instructions. This helps develop cognitive abilities.
🧩 Second, children have to compare and make sure that everything is correct or find out what went wrong, which is great for problem-solving, critical thinking, and logical reasoning.
⚡Third, it is pretend circuit play so you can start introducing very basic vocabulary like wires and electricity. Look around the room and talk about what needs electricity to work
❤️ Fourth, it is quality time spent together. Creating positive emotions surrounding STEM experiences is key for kids motivation for STEM.
If both parents are playing this with their kids, which we definitely recommend you do, let them be in charge of the lights and play against each other. This really gets their brains working. Once they figure out the code and have followed it a few times, being in charge of overseeing the lights is a great way to boost brain activity. They don’t just follow instructions but they have to check that everything is correct. A crucial aspect of any STEM profession.
Hope you enjoyed this fun Christmas set up. We wish you a lovely holiday!
More Fun Family Games:
- Fantastic Outdoor Game With Great Learning Potential
- Multisensory Learning: The Sound and Feel of Materials
Check Out Parenting Tips And Inspiration For STEM At Home:
- What is STEM and why is STEM Learning important?
- 5 Tips to Transform STEM Activities at Home
- 5 Reasons for Supporting STEM Learning at Home
- Discover The Best Strategies For Learning That Sticks
- Play-Based Learning: How Children Learn Through Play
- Have You Wondered With Your Kid Today?
- The Dos And Don’ts Of Free Play. A STEM Perspective
- Connect As A Family Through Play And Discovery
- How To Develop Early Math Skills Outdoors