Build Up for an Edible Structure

Updated on Jul 5, 2013
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Build Up for an Edible Structure Activity

Expect to see towering skyscrapers and leaning Towers of Pisa decorating your table when you do this fun activity with your child. Learning how to see the world and then translate it into 3-D can be challenging when in the two dimensional world of paper and pencils or crayons. This activity encourages a child to sculpt in free form with the only rule that they have to build 'up'.

What You Need:

  • Mini marshmallows
  • Toothpicks

What You Do:

  1. Try helping to build a small shape to get your child started. Stick 4 toothpicks into 4 marshmallows to build a square (with the marshmallows forming the connectors).
  2. Next, have your child start moving his sculpture 'up'. Place 4 toothpicks vertically into the marshmallows with another set of marshmallows on each end.
  3. Repeat your first square and connect the marshmallows. You now have a 3D square which can form the base of a tower or even perhaps a house.
  4. Let your child's imagination take over from there!

Did You Know?

  • The resulting sculpture is an example of three dimensional artwork made by combining hard material with a plastic material (this material is mimicked by the marshmallows.
  • Sculptors also create sculptures out of stone, wood, glass or metal. Their art is often painted.
  • Spending time discussing local public artwork in parks and plazas with your child is a great way to get him thinking about structures. After building structures in three dimensions young artists may start noticing three dimensional shapes in local architecture.

Not only will your child love playing (and eating!) marshmallows, but he'll learn a bit about construction as well. Kids don't often get the chance to work on what teachers call "visual spatial skills"-- in other words, they don't often get to work on being able to think in physical space. This is a great project to get them thinking in 3-D!