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DIY Inexpensive STEM Challenge Kit

This DIY Inexpensive STEM Challenge Kit makes a great gift for kids or families! It includes 25 amazing free printable STEM Challenge Cards, a supply list and adorable labels so you can make a cute and functional STEM kit so fast!

What is a STEM Challenge?

A STEM challenge is a fun Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) activity with a specific challenge, a list of supplies you can use, a time limit and an amazing opportunity for screen-free fun for kids, tweens and teens. 

What is a STEM Challenge Kit?

I have five kids who LOVE to do STEM projects and challenges, but what I DON’T love as a mom is thinking up activities and finding all of the supplies to get a project done! So I created this DIY Inexpensive STEM Challenge Kit. It is a dream to pull out our STEM Challenge Kit, open up a STEM Challenge Card envelope and let the kids go to town. We love to do these STEM Challenges as a family…some are created for “teams” and others are individual STEM challenges. 

This STEM Challenge Kit is simple to put together using the free STEM Challenge Cards, filling up the box with the supplies listed on the free supply list, and slapping on some labels! My kids ages 4-15 all love doing the 25 STEM Challenge Cards and I love that they are using their brains and having fun together. 

To get the free printables for this DIY Inexpensive STEM Challenge Kit, sign up for The Gifty Girl Newsletter (sent out every other week) and get a password to access my free Gift Printables Library (tons of great fun printables, including these STEM ones!) 

This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you anything)!  Get more information in my full disclosure.

This is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics but with arts so it is a little more STEAM) Family challenge box. There are lots of different STEM activities you can find online and I modified these to make them contests between family members.  Some of the activities are Individual Challenges and others are Team Challenges but all of them are totally fun! As I was typing up the challenges I kept telling my kids about them and they wanted to do EVERY SINGLE ONE.This awesome family gift includes 25 (free printable ) STEAM challenges and EVERYTHING you need (except some perishable items) to do each challenge.

DIY Inexpensive STEM Challenge Kit


What’s Inside this DIY Inexpensive STEM Challenge Kit

STEM Gift: STEM STEAM Family Challenge box Supplies 7

First up, there are a bunch of “connectors.” Mailing labels (which work like uniform sizes of tape), masking tape, clothes pins, rubber bands, scotch tape, string, push pins and paper clips.


STEM Gift: STEM STEAM Family Challenge box Supplies 6

Next, building supplies. Straws, pipe cleaners, balloons, popsicle sticks, pencils and scissors.


STEM Gift: STEM STEAM Family Challenge box Supplies 4

Paper products are a big part of many of the challenges. Plastic spoons, Plastic forks, toothpicks, Styrofoam cups, paper cups, and lunch bags.


STEM Gift: STEM STEAM Family Challenge box Supplies 3

You need a target for a few of the challenges (I included this one in the challenge file for you to print!), plain white paper, craft foam, colored paper, index cards, small pieces of cardboard, playing cards and envelopes.


STEM Gift: STEM STEAM Family Challenge box supplies 2

Some random things…plastic army men, mini marshmallows, spaghetti noodles, ping pong balls, fishing weights (in retrospect it would be better to put a roll or two of pennies), and two metal skewers.


STEM Gift: STEM STEAM Family Challenge box Supplies

One of the challenges is a slime or goo making contest…here are all the supplies for that. Bottles of glue, borax , a measuring cup, and food coloring.

And I totally forgot to take a picture of a tiny trophy that I added into the box as a “traveling award.”  Basically whoever wins that challenge gets the trophy until the next challenge is done.

Have I lost you yet? I hope not!! Keep reading!

How to put the DIY Inexpensive STEM Challenge Kit Together

You’ll also need to print out the STEM Challenge Cards. I have all 25 of them in a pdf file in my Gifty Printables Resource Library.

Sign up below to get the access code for this awesome printable as well as other fun tags and gift printables, including a list of supplies needed for this gift and a STEAM family challenge gift box sign.


I put each challenge into an individual envelope or if you wanted to you could put it in a notebook. I thought the envelopes would be more fun!


Now these STEM challenges aren’t all building…some of them are purely creative/acting type challenges. I got many of them from this AMAZING website and then changed them a bit and put them into my STEAM challenge format. Each challenge paper talks about what things you need from your house (only perishables or things too big for the kit), the things you need from the kit for this particular challenge, how much time the challenge takes, the rules, and the scoring to determine the winner (which sometimes is silly!)

I put everything into a durable plastic tub so when it is time to do a STEM challenge everything is on hand!


Who would love to have a STEM Challenge Kit?

This gift is great for a family with kids of any age…or you can scale it down and give it as a gift to a child for a birthday gift. My kids ages 4, 6, 8, 12 and 15 all love doing challenges like this.

This is such a fun gift, would your kids enjoy it? Do you know a family who would like to have a STEAM challenge?


Happy Gifting!


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Saturday 4th of March 2023

Thank you so much. Love this idea


Wednesday 20th of July 2022

I love this idea, but I can't find the link to the STEM Challenge Cards. Can you please share it?


Friday 28th of January 2022

Hi, I've signed up to receive your emails to receive access to the gift resource library and haven't received an email. Is there a way to get access to the items to print in this post? Thank you!

Merrill Wahaba

Monday 24th of January 2022

I am a resource teacher working with k-5 students and this would be very helpful


Friday 20th of August 2021

Hi Stephanie,

Thank you sharing this fun idea. Can you please tell me how do I sign up for your newsletter? And how can I download the printable mentioned in the post?

Thanks, Sonal

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