Kids are going to flip when they make they make their own spinning Christmas tree science project. This easy electronics project is perfect for December because it combines a Christmas craft and a Christmas science experiment to make one EPIC Christmas STEM project for kinderarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade students. This festive, holiday Christmas activity for kids is a must try this year!
Christmas Science Experiments
Kids are going to flip over this outrageously clever science experiment! We turned our dancing science project into a Christmas Dancing science project by make it into a Christmas tree themed activity perfect for December. Your preschoolers, kindergartners, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, grade 6, grade 7, and grade 8 students will be amazed how they can use a battery, magnet, and coper wire into a DIY motor to power their Christmas electronics project for kids. I don’t think we’ve ever tried any cooler Christmas science experiments, you have got to try this!
This experiment is easy to set-up and with a little tweaking as you go is lots of fun for kids of all ages. Whether you are a parent, teacher, or homeschooler – this Christmas science is perfect for a Christmas activity for kids!
Christmas Science Project
To make this homopolar motor, start out by grabbing a couple simple materials to make your Christmas themed science experiments.
- Copper Wire (this is the one we used)
- Small round magnets (these are the ones we used)
- 3-in-1 pliers with cutter (we used these)
- AA batteries (you will need one for each spinning Christmas tree you want to create)
- crepe paper
- hot glue gun
- pom poms, fushion beads, confetti, etc.
A quick note about safety. Please use common sense when using cutters and batteries as they can cause damage if not used and handled carefully. Also magnets are a known chocking hazard and should not be used by small children or any children without careful adult supervision.
I love that this easy Christmas science experiments is easy enough for parents to make with their children as a Christmas activity or robust enough to use as a fun Christmas science experiments for middle school. Either way it is fun, engaging, and has a good WOW factor!
Start by cutting off 10-12″ of copper wire. Now on one side form a triangular Christmas tree. Ours were about 1 3/4″ in height. Use your pliers to carefully turn down the edge. This will be the connector to the positive side of your battery that your dancing science project will sit on.
Now hold over the other side to make the bottom part of the tree and use your plier to make a 90 degree angle down. After it goes straight for 1/2″ or so start to make curly cues with your wire.
I actually found it easiest to make the spirals around the battery and then just wide the spirals out and stretch it down to the length I needed to get to the same height as the magnets at the bottom. Cut off any extra copper wire – you don’t want your project to be any heaver than it needs to.
Now you are going to prepare your motor for your project by putting 4-8 mini batteries on the negative side of the batter (Where there is no bump). Stand up your battery on top of the magnets on a table.
How you are going to start fitting your spinning Christmas tree on the battery. The one side of the copper wire end that you started with will balance on the bump at the top of the battery. The bottom end of your spirals needs to come down parallel to the magnets. You want the spirals wide enough to allow your project to spin, but still balanced so the tree doesn’t tip over. This is the hardest part of the project, but only took us about 10 minutes of tweaking. I suggest tweaking one at this stage so you can see what it is supposed to look like.
If your project is balanced on the battery with one connector on the top bump and the other parallel to the magnets and it still won’t spin try to:
- flip over your magnets
- try a new battery (it may be a dude)
- if your project is getting hot – use a new battery – out of the dozen or so we made we had trouble with one battery. Children should not be touching or experimenting with hot batteries
- Try to reduce some of the wire or smooth out the spirals
Cool, right? Depending on how balanced your project is it might turn slowly or spin really quickly. My kids were amazed by how fast it spined. Now comes the craft part of this project; the part that makes it look like a Christmas science project for kids!
Use green crepe paper and a hot glue gun to cover the triangle part at the top. Remember you want a sleek project so no need to go crazy with the glue or double the crepe paper LOL! Cut off any overhang; remember you need the top connector expose and glue free to make your Christmas electronics project to work!
Now it’s time to decorate your green Christmas tree project! You can use whatever you have on hand. We tried fusion beads, mini pompoms, and confetti. They all worked great and did not make the project to heavy. I think the fusion beads were my favorite, but again – they all work. Carefully use a hot glue gun to attach your ornament decorations. Ready…. it is time to put the project back on the battery and watch the spinning Christmas tree!
Kids will be amazed at how they made their own motor to power the Christmas trees so they spin and dance. This is such a fun science project for December with so many options for decorating, look of the trees, and more! My kids wanted to play with them again and again for hours and days and weeks!
If you are looking for another fun way to explore using your battery, magnets, and copper wire – try our Ornaments-Go-Round Christmas STEM Activities.
Looking to explore electiricty further? Try these fun electricity projects.
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Christmas Science Experiments for Kids
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Looking for ideas for fun Christmas learning with free Christmas printables? Check out these fun resources:
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Christmas Activities for Kids
Looking for more fun Christmas printables, Christmas Crafts, and Christmas activities to fill your holiday calendar? Check out these fun ideas!
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Free Christmas Worksheets
Looking for more huge Christmas Worksheets to make practicing math and literacy fun for kids? You will love these huge, free printable packs for December!
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