Marshmallow Buildings and Bridges

This lesson developed by Reach Out!
Recommended Ages: All ages!


Can I make a skyscraper? A bridge? A boat?

What You Need

  1. Toothpicks
  2. Miniature marshmallows
  3. Large marshmallows
  4. Book
  5. 2 chairs

What You Do

  1. Think about the different structures that are around you everyday. How do you think they were designed? What kinds of shapes do you find in these objects and structures?

  2. Pick something that you want to try to build out of toothpicks and marshmallows!

  3. Go ahead and build away! Toothpicks are like the beams of buildings. Try different strategies to see what will make your structure the strongest and most stable.

  4. Take 15 marshmallows and 20 toothpicks and try to make a structure that will be strong enough to hold a book. Test your structures out- do you need to think about surface area? Do you need to think about using more triangles in the structure? Why o r why not?

  5. See if you can make a bridge out of toothpicks and marshmallows between two chairs. Then see how strong and stable your bridge is by putting a glass or small book on it.

What Is Happening

You are learning about the design and building of structures. If you want to, try using glue to hold toothpick structures together instead of the marshmallows. Talk to an engineer or builder to learn more about designing and building things.