STEM and STEAM projects at home or in the classroom don’t have to be complex for kids to gain important critical thinking skills. Using skills from Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math will help guide our kids to gain knowledge that promotes a growth mindset by using problem-solving skills in real time. Invite your own kids to Thanksgiving STEAM by engineering their very own free-standing tee-pees with Wikki Stix.

Thanksgiving STEAM for Kids_Engineering a Free Standing Tee-Pee

Project Inquiry to be solved: Can you build a free-standing tee-pee using ONLY simple supplies?

Materials allowed:

  • Craft Sticks (or real stick pieces)
  • Any colors of Wikki Stix
  • Scissors

Kids of all ages can participate in the free-standing tee-pee Thanksgiving STEAM challenge. Kids can also design the free-standing tee-pees in small groups or with a partner if desired.  Share with your kids the important STEPS to SUCCESS in STEM and STEAM challenges below.


  • ASK IT! – What is the problem and how can I solve it?
  • SOLVE IT! – Brainstorm ideas with the allowed materials.
  • DESIGN IT!  – Engineer and construct your free-standing tee-pee with craft sticks and Wikki Stix.
  • TEST IT! – Can your tee-pee stand alone? If not, what improvements can you think of to help?
  • IMPROVE IT! – Make the necessary changes to your tee-pee for SUCCESS!

The STEAM engineered free-standing tee-pee (pictured above) was designed by a 5th grade small group. The tee-pee consisted of 3 craft sticks wrapped in Wikki Stix and held upright by circular Wikki Stix pieces on the bottom of the tee-pee poles. The kids designed an open door for the front of their tee-pee and wrapped it in green Wikki Stix to hold the structure together. At first, the craft sticks for the base of the tee-pee kept shifting. The kids needed to reinforce the top of the tee-pee with Wikki Stix so the “poles” of the tee-pee held in place while the functional features were added.

The tee-pee pictured above was designed by two Kindergarten children. The design was amazing, but the kids had trouble figuring out how to make the design stand freely. They added Wikki Stix strips to the bottom of their construction to complete the project. It’s fun as a parent or a teacher to observe critical thinking and problem-solving in action while kids are designing and making improvements in simple STEAM challenges.

We hope your own kids enjoy engineering their own free-standing tee-pee this Thanksgiving with Wikki Stix. For more ways to encourage STEM and STEAM skills the whole year through, please visit:

STEAM Project: Build a Free-Standing Scarecrow Lesson Plan

Encourage Respectful Listening with the Talking Feather Stick Challenge

Will your boat FLOAT? Create the MAYFLOWER in a fun STEAM Challenge

Learn about the PARTS of a PLANT CELL this Harvest!

Wikki Stix Free Standing Tee-Pee Supplies