Marshmallow engineering is a hands-on STEM activity kids adore!
Seeing a pile of marshmallows and some fun colored straws is sure to engage even the most reluctant learner–especially if they can sample while they build.
What could be more fun?
Not only is it fun to build with treats, it’s also an open ended activity that lets kids explore and create.
Parents can build on that excitement with this fun and simple STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) project. Creating structures out of marshmallows develops kids’ engineering skills and enhances their critical thinking.
While creating marshmallow structures, kids are working on the STEM concepts of design, building, shape, and structure in a fun and hands-on way. It’s an open-ended process that allows them to build and rebuild designs while problem solving and develops higher level critical thinking.
- Marshmallows or mini-marshmallows (they hold better if they are a little bit stale)
- plastic drinking straws or toothpicks (if using mini-marshmallows)
Start off the activity by asking the kids to make two dimensional shapes with the supplies such as a square or a triangle. Then ask them to turn their 2-D shapes into 3-D ones by adding more sides. If they get stuck demonstrate how to turn a square into a cube.
Next ask them what other types of structures they can build. Let them to cut the straws or even the marshmallows if necessary to create the design they desire. As they work encourage them to “try something different” to overcome any problems they encounter. This open-ended exploration is a great way to investigate STEM concepts.
Marshmallow Engineering Challenges
Give them simple challenges to get them to think critically and to make the process more fun!
- Build a two or three story structure
- Create a marshmallow bridge
- Build a structure using only one shape
- Create a structure that can hold a piece of paper
Larger marshmallows can make it more challenging to build higher structures and mini-marshmallows limit the number of toothpicks that can be used in each one. Encourage kids to discover the limitations of the materials and add in more you may have around the house to achieve their goal.
You’ll be surprised by just how creative they can be!
Don’t let the fun and discovery stop there!
We have TONS of science experiments your kids will love on our Super Cool Science Experiments for Kids page!
Take me to the experiments –> Super Cool Science Experiments for Kids