Welcome to the holiday season! A time of year filled with fun music, delicious treats, and… SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS?! It certainly could be! After all, why not use this festive time of year as an excuse for an extra fun day (or week) in your science classroom?! Making use of the Christmas season is a fun way to get those little scientists in your classroom engaged in science class. So, if you’re looking for some lesson ideas with a winter season twist, here are a few of my favorite Christmas themed science activities!
CHRISTMAS THEMED SCIENCE ACTIVITIES
I’ll admit…this activity can get a little messy, but in my opinion, it’s worth it! Students will make their own Christmas slime using:
- Airtight container
- Elmer’s clear glue, 5-ounce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon contact solution
- Green food coloring
- Green glitter
- Red heart charm
- Small bowl
Grinch slime is fun, quick and (relatively) easy to make! This makes a great activity to use on the last day before winter break. Check out the activity instructions HERE!
If you’ve never had the joy of making oobleck before…let this be your year! Oobleck is a mixture of cornstarch and water. It can act as both a solid and a liquid and if fun for both young children and older students alike. Add a little holiday magic to this classic science experiment by mixing in some peppermint candies. Not only will they add fun colors to your oobleck, it will make your classroom smell like the Candy Cane forest!
Learn to make peppermint oobleck HERE!
SANTA BALLOON SLEIGHS
One of my favorite Christmas science experiments, students will LOVE launching Santa’s “sleigh.” This activity makes a great addition to any FORCE & MOTION unit. Working with a partner or small group, students measure the speed and distance traveled by Santa’s sleigh. Sleighs will be constructed using:
- Construction paper
- Fishing line or string
I like to offer bonus points or rewards for the teams that design the most creative looking sleighs, as well as the ones that travel the farthest. You can find all of the instructions for this activity HERE.
CHRISTMAS THEMED SCAVENGER HUNT
This Christmas themed scavenger hunt is a great way to review the scientific method with your middle schoolers! I’ve done this activity for years, and it really satisfies all my students in a way that they can be learning, socializing, and moving around. I usually set a timer for how long they have to complete the activity to keep them from lingering too long at one question. You can also set limits for how many people can be at a certain question at one time if you think that will be a problem.
Finishing up a weather unit? Why not spend some time making paper snowflakes?! Sure, you can spend some time talking about snow and the water cycle…but this is also a super fun and easy way to get your classroom decorated! Your students will have the best time making their snowflakes and will be delighted to see them handing from the walls, windows, or even the ceiling! Talk about fun Christmas themed science activities!
OTHER FESTIVE THINGS:
Be honest with me…who doesn’t LOVE a good cup of cocoa on a cold winter day? (Or any day really.) There’s just something about sipping a warm, chocolatey beverage that turns any ordinary lesson into a cozy fun activity. I love to serve hot chocolate on a day that we will be doing a quieter class. This is definitely NOT something to do when you’re planning a hands-on activity…that’s a good way to have a massive chocolate MESS to clean up.
Classroom cocoa tip:
Buy gallons of regular ole’ chocolate milk. This milk heats very well in a crockpot set to the “warm” setting. This is by far the EASIEST method I’ve found for serving hot chocolate in my classroom.
CLASSROOM CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
There’s just something about Christmas lights that make any space feel cozy and inviting. (Trust me…your students will LOVE it!!) String up a few strands of Christmas lights this season…the more the merrier!
While we are on the topic of Christmas decor, kids of all ages appreciate a well decorated and festive classroom. If you’re looking for some relatively inexpensive, yet FUN decorations to add a little Christmas cheer to your middle school classroom, here are a few suggestions:
`1. Put on some holiday tunes and have your middle school students MAKE your classroom Christmas decorations. Trust me, they’ll enjoy having a day to indulge their creativity and your classroom will look like the toy shop at The North Pole!
2. Shop the Dollar Store. I’ve found TONS of fun (yet affordable) Christmas decor that truly add some fun to our science classroom.
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