We've got some great ways to enjoy STEM challenges with your Elf on the Shelf this Christmas, all thanks to Lucy from @findthelittlemind. She's a Mom of two kids who loves to engage in creative play and hands on learning. We know our Elf will love these challenges too, especially seen as they are displayed on our StoryBricks Letter Board!
If you have an Elf currently residing on your shelf you will likely know all too well that they sometimes get up to mischief. Our Elf, lovingly and somewhat strangely, named Sasso (?!?!?!) by my then 3 year old son, often finds himself setting my two kids little STEM challenges, and they love it! Here are five really easy ones to set up, which require pretty basic materials and will keep your littles playing and getting creative throughout the month.
1. Build Me A Sled!
We've done this one several times over the years, each time using a different material for building. Previously we have used LEGOs and wooden supplies like craft sticks and clothes pegs, but this year it will be all about our magnetic tiles. I plan to put out a selection of our Connetix Tiles with the simple instructions of 'build me a sled'. It works great to actually limit the number of tiles to really challenge your kids with their engineering skills! After they've built the sled, ask them to leave it next to their Elf. Once the kiddos are asleep, place the Elf in the sled and tell the kids it looks like he's been enjoying it all night long.
2. Build A Bigger Marshmallow Tower!
Have you ever tried building with mini marshmallows? It's actually really hard! Supply your kids with a pot of mini marshmallows (or you could even use bigger ones if your kids are younger) and ask your kids to build the biggest tower possible. Get them to leave the towers out next to the Elf and see if they have beaten the Elf or not when they wake up the next morning. This is actually harder than it looks!
3. Build Me A Swing!
If your kids love to engineer out of recyclables and basic construction materials then they will love this one. Put out a toilet paper roll, some string and tape, a hole punch and a pair of scissors. Challenge your kids to turn these simple materials into a functioning swing for their Elf. If you wanted to take it a step further you could even also supply some coloring or paint materials to decorate the swing with. The next morning they'll get such a kick out of seeing their Elf perched on the swing.
4. Make Me Some Jewelry
This is definitely one way to add some 'street cred' to your Elf! Use pipe cleaners and pony beads, and some bells if you have them, to give your Elf some bling! The kids will think he looks so cool the next morning wearing it all!
5. Build Me A Throne
This is another challenge that we repeat year on year because it is great for different ages. This time round DUPLOs are the building manipulative of choice. Again, I try to limit the number of bricks provided to really challenge them to come up with something cool and comfortable for their Elf to chillax on.
There you have it, five easy to set up but fun for all ages, STEM challenges for your family to enjoy with their Elf on the Shelf this year. I'd love to hear how your family enjoys their Elf for the month of December.
Thank you so much Lucy for these fun and engaging ways to get your kids exploring STEM concepts with their Elf. We can't wait to test them out! Head to @findthelittlemind for more hands on learning activities.