Thursday, November 14, 2019

Christmas STEM Activity for Kids with Magna-Tiles & Jingle Bells

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This Christmas STEM activity for kids uses magnetic tiles and jingle bells. It's a perfect Christmas science activity for preschoolers and toddlers!

Playing with magnetic tiles never gets old in our house. And recently, our beloved Magna-Tiles got a Christmas makeover! 

It all started when I pulled out some jingle bells for the boys to explore with. Next thing I know, we've got 3D Christmas trees decorated with jingle bells popping up in my living room...

Turns out this simple combination of materials makes a great Christmas STEM activity for kids, especially for toddlers and preschoolers. My boys did a little building, made some music, and created their own little game.

Christmas STEM activity for kids using magnetic tiles & jingle bells

Christmas Tree STEM Activity: What You'll Need

You'll need two things for this Christmas science activity, which you can probably guess simply by reading the title of this post or looking at the photos, right? Regardless, here's what you'll need:

  • Magnetic tiles - We used our clear colors set of Magna-Tiles for this activity, but any brand or color of magnetic tiles will do the trick.

Simply set out all of the materials together or on a tray. You could also build one Christmas tree shape with jingle bells if you'd like to show a prompt. Personally, I prefer to set out the materials and let the kids build and explore as they see fit. But, as I noted above, this activity came together on its own simply because I set out some jingle bells. It was the boys who grabbed the magnetic tiles to pair with them.

Exploring Magnetic Tiles & Jingle Bells Together

The first thing my boys did was create some Christmas trees using three Magna-Tiles isosceles triangles. Then they started sticking some jingle bells on to decorate them. And voila - instant festive decorations! Aren't they pretty?

Christmas tree STEM activity for toddlers and preschoolers

Christmas tree STEM activity for toddlers and preschoolers

After building some trees, the boys built some boxes to hold all of the jingle bells. They proceeded to fill and dump, fill and dump, fill and know, things little kids love to do over and over. Only this time the dumping and refilling was a bit more noisy and musical.

Christmas science experiments preschool with jingle bells and magnetic tiles

Christmas science experiments preschool with jingle bells and magnetic tiles

Christmas science for toddlers and preschoolers

Next, the boys stacked some Magna-Tiles and added jingle bells to the edges to create some DIY jingle shaker instruments. Naturally, a little bit of dancing followed suit.

Toddler and preschool Christmas science activity

Christmas science activity for toddlers and preschoolers

My oldest, J, also came up with some kind of game using the Magna-Tiles and jingle bells. He stacked all the silver bells on the Magna-Tiles (see the photo below) and then tried to knock them off using the green and red bells. It was kind of like a bowling game, I guess? Either way, he had fun with this little game for quite some time.

Preschool Christmas activity for kids

Other Variations to Expand this Christmas Science Activity Further

There are other ways to expand this activity further, if you'd like.

For instance, if you're using clear magnetic tiles, you could try this activity on the light table. The little Christmas trees would then light up and glow!

In addition to jingle bells, you could set out some other magnetic items to decorate the mini trees with. Things such as magnetic counters or pipe cleaners would work great.

Another idea is to pair the magnetic tiles and jingle bells with some dry erase markers. That way the kids could decorate the little Christmas trees, not only with jingle bells, but with little drawings of tinsel, ornaments, and whatnot.

Whether you try this Christmas STEM activity with just the two items or with one of the variations above, your kids are going love this activity! It's an incredibly engaging and fun activity - and super simple to set up! I know my boys returned to it again and again for quite some time.

Christmas STEM activity for kids using magnetic tiles & jingle bells

Christmas STEM activity for kids using magnetic tiles & jingle bells