Science Explorers
Science Explorers

Every Christmas season, a lot of kids get excited for the day when Santa Claus visits their house and leaves presents. To keep your kids occupied until Christmas Day, do some holiday-themed science experiments that are all about Santa Claus. In this experiment, your child will build a gumdrop chimney for Santa!

Your kids will have a blast making fun creations for Santa Claus. You just need some basic household supplies and an engineering mindset! Watch your child get excited about science as they build their chimney and explore their structures.


The supplies you need for this experiment are some common items you may already have on hand for the holidays. All you need to get started is:

  • Gumdrops
  • Toothpicks
  • Small house to build the chimney next to

Depending on what your child wants their chimney to look like, you can use other items, such as apple slices, play dough and straws. For the house, you can buy a cardboard house at a store or make a gingerbread house. To continue STEM learning, you could also have your kids build the house with these supplies!

How to Build a Gumdrop Chimney

One of the best things about this project is its creativity. Your child can use their imagination to dream up a chimney for Santa. Whether they use a mix of colors or just one, a typical style or something crazy, or an enormous or small size, the look is part of the fun!

If there are enough materials left over when the chimney is complete, your child can build other things for the house. Does the yard need some trees or flowers? Should the house have a garage? Are there snowflakes all around? These additional structures will also test your child’s skills in building.

Your child will have so much fun building a gumdrop chimney for Santa. Continue the learning at other times of the year by having them build structures for their toys. You may also redesign the experiment for different holiday themes!

Building a Chimney and STEM Learning

Building structures is a wonderful opportunity for STEM learning. When they are making the chimney, have your child explain their building process. How did they choose this design? Why are they using certain materials over others? Whether the structure is stable or falls apart, use these instances as lessons in problem-solving. Have your child examine their creation, and tell you why their design did or did not work. They can use their observations for improvement to build Santa another chimney!

Your child will also learn about the different kinds of shapes as they build their chimney. Ask them to point out the different shapes they see in their structures. To make this easier, you may give your child cut-out shapes. They can use these as a reference when looking for the shapes in their chimney.

Make it a challenge by limiting the number of toothpicks and gumdrops they can use. Pick a number based on your child’s age and ability, and have them count their supplies. Then put their engineering skills to the test and see what they can do!

Do More Fun Experiments With Science Explorers

Science is all about exploring new ideas, and children are naturally curious! Science Explorers offers  after school science clubs  and  summer science camps  where kids can learn even more about science! We use fun, hands-on experiments to get kids involved so they can learn new topics such as weather, chemistry, astronomy, biology and more!

Explore our website to learn more about our programs and  register your child  today!

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