Teach preschoolers the basics of engineering through Building Marshmallow Towers with toothpicks, marshmallows and a free printable. Steam activities for preschoolers encourages engineering through building marshmallow towers and shapes.
Last week for our preschool STEAM activity, we made Valentines cards and the week before that we pulled out some fun supplies and began to build and engineer a snowflake. This week we pulled out a fun activity all around engineering and building marshmallow shapes and towers.
Building Marshmallow Towers
What you need:
FREE Printable — > download HERE
How to Engineer and Build Marshmallow Shapes:
1- Print your FREE Printable and Laminate so you can reuse
2- Let them follow the patterns on the printable to build shapes and patterns.
3- Before you know it their creativity and imagination will be running wild and they will be engineering and building all kinds of structures.
Variations: Encourage your older children to build up…another words build towers and structures. They have a lot of fun engineering and building…and remember it’s not going to be perfect but that’s how they learn! When a structure falls down, encourage them to figure out why and then rebuild it.
How is this Preschool Activity STEAM? As my husband says to classify it as a STEAM activity it needs to incorporate at least two aspects of the word STEAM. So in our activity we have E, A and M. Engineering, Art and Math!
Why is STEAM important in early childhood education? Well I’m glad you asked….
If you would like to read more about the process behind a STEAM activity- please read more here or tap the picture below. My husband has written this for all of us to learn…(he is over the Innovation Center where he teaches high-school in Covington, LA.)
the STEAM process for making Marshmallow Shapes and Towers
- Investigate: Let them look at the materials they are using. Let them touch them, feel them, hold them, talk about what each is made of and ask questions about the materials. Let them explore and see them.
- Discover: We talked about the colors we are using…We talked about the different shapes we are making or could make within our project…ask them what toothpicks are made of…get them to think on their own.
- Connect: Keep it simple! Connect colors or shapes to their world. Ask if they can name other items they know of with similar shapes or colors. Ask them if they have ever seen a tower, what it looked like, if it went up or down, skinny or large. Get them to think and discuss.
- Create: Direct them and let them make shapes and towers. Remember they won’t do it perfect and this is where they truly learn and connect a lot in their minds. Engineering and Building will take time, their structure may fall, encourage them to figure out why. Was their base not connected, not large enough etc. Then encourage them to try again and again if they have to.
- Reflect: Ask what they learned by building shapes or towers. Ask what worked and what didn’t. Again get them to talk and think about their project.
REMINDER! Their fine motor skills are being exercised with the toothpick/marshmallow. A great aid in teaching them skills for life.
Have any questions? Any new ideas to go along with this activity? We’d love to hear from you in the comments…we are no pros and would love your ideas as we journey through these STEAM Preschool activities.
Want to see all of our STEAM Preschool Activities? Just go here or tap the picture below.
Make fun Creating has inspired us to try using spaghetti while building marshmallow towers and shapes for a new twist to this idea.
We are a husband and wife team, pairing our strengths together to teach our preschooler in the most fun and engaging way we possibly can. The mister is a high school educator at Northlake Christian school in Covington Louisiana and over the Innovation Center, which is all things STEAM. I am a SAHM that blogs pretty much everything we do in our little paradise, from what we eat, to where we travel to how we teach our little one. We hope you are inspired to incorporate STEAM into learning with your children.