The kids’ table is THE place to be this holiday. Allow time for the adults to enjoy seconds at the big table by breaking out some STEM fun with the kids. Mini marshmallow and gumdrop structures are this holiday’s time enhancer–and couldn’t be easier!
Simple set up + simple materials = BIG scientific impact
You will need:
Lots of toothpicks
Without realizing it, your kids (and kid guests) will begin to think like engineers who are facing a two-part challenge:
What to make?
How to improve on what you’ve already made?
Begin by challenging kids to create simple structures, like shapes. Try octagons, triangles, ladders, etc. Will these serve as building blocks to something more three-dimensional?
Without the children realizing it, building these gumdrop and marshmallow shapes is a unique way to practice fine motor skills. Dexterity, grasp, and coordination are necessary to construct up, up, up – no matter the age!
Next, watch kids as they critically examine how to improve upon what they’ve already created. What step is needed to take it (literally) to the next level?
What about the structural composition of the connectors? As the kids begin to build, are the marshmallows easier to stab with the toothpick? Which seems to keep your three-dimensional shapes in place better?
As they build, remind children that failure is definitely an option, here. That your shape may shift and your tower may topple! The attempt to rebuild by lessons from their first misstep is just as important of a takeaway.
Lastly–and most delightful to watch as parents–might be the natural drive for table collaboration. “If we attach our structures together, it will be even bigger and better and more interesting!
The possibilities are endless (and so are the fun and laughs!).
Season’s Greetings from Learning Resources!