Candy Cane STEAM Activity for Kids

Image of candy canes in a heart shape. Text says, "Candy Cane STEAM Challenge"

Have candy canes left over from the holidays? Why not use them for an open-ended activity?

Open-ended STEAM challenges are a great way to help children express themselves creatively, learn how to make independent choices, and determine the outcome of their work—all skills that are important to our development. And when you have children participate together as a group, they learn how to listen to others and how to work better as a team.

For our Candy Cane STEAM Challenge, kids will use their imagination and creativity to design and build something using only one candy cane and a few other materials you have on hand. The candy cane must be a functioning part of their solution and cannot be decorative. For younger children, you can use the provided prompts to give them a theme for their design (e.g., a tower, a toy, etc.) See what they can build in just 15 minutes. When they’re finished, have them reflect on their process and design using the provided Processing Questions.

Follow the instructions below or print a copy of our Candy Candy STEAM Challenge.

Candy Cane STEAM Challenge Header






Challenge: Using your imagination and creativity, design and build something using one candy cane and a few additional materials you have on hand. The candy cane must be a functional part of your design and may not be decorative.

Suggested Materials: Construction paper, paper straws, index cards, cardboard tubes, bottle caps, rubber bands, paper clips, Ping-Pong balls, tape

Suggested Prompts: Build a toy, build something that flies, build the tallest tower possible, build something that has wheels, build a game, build a musical instrument

Time: 15 minutes

Processing Questions:

  1. What did you like most about this challenge?
  2. What other materials could you have used to help build your design?
  3. How did you figure out how to incorporate your candy cane?
  4. If you could do this activity again, what would you create?


Looking for more STEAM activities to keep your children engaged and learning? Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll send you 5 free exclusive STEAM challenges! 

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Destination Imagination relies on supporters like you to ensure we can continue to provide free educational content for kids and families. If you’re enjoying our activities and believe in the power of creativity and self-expression, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to DI today through our secure donor portal.