Christmas Tree STEM Activity

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Engage your little engineers with this fun and educational Christmas Tree STEM Activity! You can scroll down to check out the instructional video too.

Kids Christmas Tree STEM Activity with photo of finished pipe cleaner tree on a dowel rod with colored pony bead ornaments.

Get ready for a festive and educational adventure with your little ones as we dive into this engaging Christmas Tree STEM Activity! In this hands-on project, we’ll combine engineering and math skills to create a 3D Christmas tree using simple materials like a dowel rod, wooden wheel, pipe cleaners, beads, and a shining star. Let the holiday crafting and learning begin!

Materials Needed:

wooden dowel rod stuck into a wooden wheel next to colorful pony beads and green pipe cleaners on a table.

Focus on Engineering and Math: The primary focus of this Christmas tree STEM activity is engineering and math, with a special emphasis on measuring. As your child builds their Christmas tree, they’ll be enhancing their spatial awareness and developing a sense of measurement by arranging the pipe cleaners from the largest to the smallest.


  1. Prepare the Pipe Cleaners: First, cut the green pipe cleaners into various lengths. This step not only introduces your child to different sizes but also encourages them to think about the arrangement of the branches on the tree.
  2. Arrange from Largest to Smallest: Have your child organize the pipe cleaners from the largest to the smallest, promoting the understanding of size and order.
  3. Wrap Around the Dowel Rod: Begin building the tree by taking the largest pipe cleaner and wrapping it around the dowel rod at the bottom. Progressively work your way up, from largest to smallest, attaching each pipe cleaner to create the tree shape. This step involves hands-on engineering as they learn how to construct their tree. (If they don’t get it completely right, that’s okay. You can also add the pipe cleaners to the dowel rod, then afterward cut them into the shape of a tree for toddlers if needed.)
  4. Add Beads as Ornaments: Enhance the holiday feeling by adding beads as colorful ornaments to the branches. This not only contributes to the aesthetic appeal but also hones fine motor skills as your child carefully places each bead in its spot. (Pro Tip: Bend the Tip of Each Branch Upward: To prevent the beads from sliding off the branches, gently bend the tip of each branch upward. This simple trick ensures a lasting and beautiful display.)
  5. Display with a Star on Top: Complete the Christmas tree by placing the star topper at the highest point. This step brings a sense of accomplishment and adds a touch of holiday cheer to the finished creation.

So let’s celebrate the joy of this season while fostering essential STEM skills with this Christmas Tree STEM Activity. Watch as your child’s imagination blossoms and their understanding of engineering and math grows!

Check out this Snowball Catapult STEM Activity next!

Happy crafting and happy holidays!

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