Christmas STEM Challenge Activity - Reindeer Relay

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Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
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Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
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Looking for a fun Christmas or winter STEM activity that incorporates science, technology, engineering, and/or math? Christmas - Winter STEM Challenges are the perfect activities because they engage your students in brain-busting work disguised as fun!

Reindeer Relay Christmas or Winter STEM Challenge Activity Overview:

Working against a criteria/constraints list, each student will design and build reindeer antlers. Students are then grouped for a reindeer relay race in which they use their antlers to transport and hand-off Christmas decorations*.

  • To save time, have each student build just one antler. During the relay race, they will share with their teammates so each person “running” will have two antlers to hold on their head.
  • *If Christmas is a no-go in your classroom, instead have students decorate antlers with reindeer food -- mosses, grasses, ferns, etc. (represented by strings, fake leaves, etc.). This turns a Christmas activity into a winter activity in a snap!


Note: This is the printable version, though you can upload the editable handouts to Google Slides™ if desired. However, if you are in a 1:1 / paperless classroom, you may prefer the digital option designed specifically for use with GOOGLE SLIDES™ instead.

If you have questions about which version is right for you, please feel free to leave me a question using the product Q&A below.


Resource includes:

NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8

Teacher Tips

  • Links to my 5-part video series on getting started with STEM challenges
  • Materials and timing
  • Criteria & Constraints (including modifications to increase difficulty for older students)
  • Measuring results
  • Universal STEM Challenge Notes & How to Use Student Handouts Post-design extension activities list
  • Link to a video walk-through of the challenge

EDITABLE Student Handouts

  • Criteria & Constraints List (color and black & white)
  • Design Analysis Handouts (2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included) (in color and black & white)
  • Discussion Questions (in color and B&W)

Extension templates

  • Arctic/Antarctic Animal Riddle Template (editable)
  • Process Flow Map
  • Math Extension


This is one of five Winter / Christmas STEM Challenge Activities. They can be purchased in a bundle at a discount:

Winter and Christmas STEM Challenge Activities Bundle (2nd – 8th)

This resource is also available in the STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE at an even greater discount!


Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

(Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified.)

  • Pipe cleaners (10 – 15 or less if building only one antler)
  • Popsicle/craft sticks (10 – 15 or less if building only one antler)
  • Foil
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Tape

For each group

  • Christmas decorations (10 – 15 mixed pieces per group)
    Ornaments (plastic), tinsel, bows, ribbon, garland, etc.


– Rubber bands

– Glue gun

– Tape

– Timers/Stopwatches (for relay race)

– Cones or sidewalk chalk (for relay race markers)


What do teachers have to say about this resource?

“This was our second Stem Challenge of yours and we loved it! It was used in an SDC 3rd/4th classroom. They loved creating their antlers and the relay race. Thank you!”

“My students love when I pull STEM activities into the classroom, and I love the team building aspect of it. Win win!”

“This is one of the best activities I've ever paid for here on TPT. My students LOVED LOVED LOVED this and we had great discussions about design thinking.”

"Fun, engaging, and thought-provoking! My students report this as one of their favorite activities of the year. It gave us great teamwork and critical thinking while being a lot of fun."

"My 8th graders loved doing this in class. We had extra time before break to do a few stem activities and this was their favorite one! Thanks!"


You might also like these resources:

STEM Challenges & Bundles (grades 2 – 8):


Winter and Christmas STEM Challenge Activities Bundle (2nd – 8th)

Snow Scoop Winter STEM Activity

Frosted Forest Winter STEM Activity

Thanksgiving STEM Challenge 5-in-1 Bundle

Valentine’s Day STEM Challenge 5-in-1 Bundle

Analyze and Interpret Data Unit

Getting Started with STEM Challenges FREEBIE


Please check out the video preview to see the challenge, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!


Total Pages
28 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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