Winter break is just around the corner. Whether you’re going somewhere fun for the holidays or staying home for the break, Dr. Ellis Crasnow, Director of STEM Education at The Help Group, has some fun STEM projects for parents to try with their children. These are perfect activities for kids with special needs.

1. Create a STEM-friendly Home for the Holidays (all ages)
Try your hand at holiday cooking, present-wrapping, poinsettia gardening, or building a home-made, holiday-themed Rube Goldberg Machine with your kids!

2. Organize STEM play dates (all ages)
Provide opportunities to practice important social and emotional skills by organizing holiday-themed STEM activities during play dates.

3. Hone Computer Science Skills without the Computer (ages 5-12)
Head to Computer Science, Unplugged to find some cool off-screen activities, puzzles, and stories, including Santa’s Dirty Socks activity!

4. Have a Family STEM TV Night (all ages)
Check out Netflix documentaries, The History Channel’s Modern Marvels, or even the movie The Theory of Everything (PG -13), inspired by Steven Hawking’s life as a physicist. Common Sense Media also has a great list by age group.

5. Encourage participation in STEM challenges (ages 11-18)
With so much down time, why not have your children get involved in a STEM competition, such as the STEM³ Special Challenge? Students in grades 6–12 with social, learning or neuro-developmental differences are asked to identify a STEM solution to a pressing challenge faced by individuals, communities, or the world at large.