The Gifty Girl

National Engineering Week: STEM Family Challenge Box Revisited

STEM Gift: Family CHallenge Box

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This week was National Engineering Week. As the daughter of an engineer, who has also worked with many engineers, I love that there is a reason to recognize the many contributions that engineers make in our world. I also love to encourage my own children to use the creative and problem-solving thought processes that engineers and scientists use.

The STEM Family Challenge Kit is a great way to encourage creative and educational play and once you assemble it is easy to pull out and use often. It was so fun to share one of the challenges (and two of my cute kiddos!) on KUTV this morning. Here are the instructions on how to assemble the kit below. And don’t forget…once you sign up and access the Gift Printable Resource Library you can print off (for FREE!) the Challenges, the sign, a supply checklist and NEW ***Envelope Labels***

I’d love for you to follow me on Instagram and Facebook so you can see the fun and unique gift ideas I have coming up!


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.

What’s Inside this STEM gift:

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 it works:

You’ll also need to print out the challenges. I have all 25 of them in a pdf file in my Gifty Printables Resource Library (with some added bling not seen in these original pictures).

Sign up below to get the access code for this awesome printable as well 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!

STEM Gift: STEM STEAM Family Challenge box


Now these 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!)

Put it all together

STEM Gift: STEM STEAM Family Challenge box

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


What it costs:

This is a gift that you could definitely scale up or down depending on your budget. Most of these items are available at the dollar store so if you went that route with the supplies (around 50 things) then this gift would cost around $60. You could also choose just a FEW challenges and make a much smaller version (for a birthday present maybe?)


Who this gift is for:

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 3, 5, 9 and 12 all love doing challenges like this. I think you could go all the way up to teenagers and have them enjoy these challenges too!


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!



  1. Tiffini

    February 26, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Our family loves this fun kit! Thank you for sharing your insight into family time!

  2. 25 Creative Gift Ideas made with {CHEAP} school supplies ~ The Gifty Girl

    August 15, 2017 at 12:27 am

    […] on many of the necessary supplies now and cut down the cost of this fun and unique family gift.  Get all the details here on the STEM kit. Your kids will love this, I […]

  3. Shiree | Confessions of Parenting

    March 14, 2018 at 9:01 am

    My kids would love this! I’m thinking this may be something I pull out for a Spring Break gift for my kids (and my sanity)!

    Thanks for joining #WanderingWednesday!

    1. The Gifty Girl

      March 14, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      Thanks Shiree! Al of my kids (even my teen!) love to pull out the STEM box!

  4. Lori | Choosing Wisdom

    March 14, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    What a great way to get those brain cells working! So creative and fun!

  5. [email protected]

    March 14, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    I love this! My kids are still pretty young, so we will have to make it a team effort instead of a competition. But I love it! We do a ton of STEM activities and I need to put something like this together for the summer! #wanderingwednesday

    1. The Gifty Girl

      March 14, 2018 at 10:06 pm

      Thanks Kim! It has been an awesome fast activity to pull out for our family. 🙂 I love that I don’t have to search for supplies too! You can download the challenges and the supply list, I hope your family enjoys it!

  6. Meg

    June 13, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    My boys would love this. Pinning!!

    1. The Gifty Girl

      June 22, 2018 at 11:19 pm

      Thanks Meg!! It is lots of fun, I hope you try it out!

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