Another one of our favorite things to do each summer is go on our neighborhood camp out. The organizers also bring easy activities or games for the kids to play. This year they brought marshmallows and tooth picks and let the kids roll. The results were fabulous! We also did this activity for daughter #2’s birthday party a few months ago (I will call her Little Engineer). We go the idea originally here at Theidearoom. The idea is really basic: see who can make the largest bridge or tallest tower, out of marshmallows and toothpicks, that actually stands up. At the birthday party the kids all had a wonderful time. At the camp out several kids enjoyed playing and building just for fun. However, my Little Engineer spent about 2 hours constructing and fortifying her bridge. She thoroughly enjoyed herself, and, thanks to our neighbor who gave her a few pointers, her bridge held up really well.
This activity is also a STEM activity. We found some fabulous instructions on how to add this activity into your STEM instructions on the Association for Library Service to Children website. I really love how they incorporated this fun activity into the STEM curriculum. The author of the article, Amy Koester, said the children “got to exercise creativity–envision a tower-as well as building and problem solving–figuring out how to produce a desired result, making modifications as obstacles arose. That’s engaging the whole brain and demonstrating that neither engineering nor art are mutually exclusive”. I love that! Learning through marshmallows and toothpicks is not only fun, but engaging to the mind and helping children understand how and why things work and connecting both sides of the brain. Bonus!
I completely believe my Little Engineer will become a big engineer one day and create and build until her heart is content. Any activity I can do to encourage this and help her along the pathway will booster her confidence and help her believe she can achieve her dream of being an engineer.
What a fun camping activity, bored summer buster, or STEM hands on learning activity. Go ahead and try this one, and let me know how it goes. It will likely keep your kids busy and happy when you need it most.
Kellie Verified at 5+ Stars. Easy, cheep, fun and STEM certified.