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STEM Gift: Family Challenge Box

STEM Gift: Family CHallenge Box


I’m so excited to share this STEM gift with you, it is a gift you can feel good about giving and kids feel GREAT about using!

My dad is an engineer. He and my mom have hosted Easter dinner for all of our family for awhile and a few years ago they added an element that is SO my dad, and is SO much fun. After dinner, my dad distributes bags with certain components in them (all the same for everyone), as well as an egg. Then we all try to make the best container to protect our egg for our family egg drop! My kids love it so much that they ask to do it fairly often during the year. I grab stuff I can find around the house and they engineer some funny stuff. Here they are last week doing yet another egg drop at home.


STEM Gift: STEM STEAM Family Challenge box Egg Drop OJ

O and J with their egg containers that made it through 2 egg drops! This round included a piece of bread (which was very cushion-y).


STEM Gift: STEM STEAM Family Challenge box egg drop M

M’s egg drop container. She usually beats all the boys…GIRL POWER!


When I found out that we had my brother and sister-in-law’s family for Christmas I knew just what to make them. They have three boys and a girl and I knew they would love these science activities like my kids do. But I wanted to make it more of a family activity…because everything is more fun when mom and dad are involved.

So I came up with 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
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!


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Tuesday 23rd of November 2021

Great idea !

Julie Levine

Thursday 9th of September 2021

Would love the family steam challenges!

Gift of Love: 14 days of {Valentines} gifts for your kids (and spouse!) - The Gifty Girl

Tuesday 31st of January 2017

[…] Do one challenge from my STEM Family Challenge kit […]

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