We had so much fun making marshmallow sculptures over the summer that I decided we should bring the fun to Valentine’s Day. We’ve been in the south for the last few weeks and it hasn’t been cold enough for hot chocolate, so there hasn’t been much interest in marshmallows, but candy on the other hand, is always a hit. The best part is that my kids are always attached to the projects that they create, so they didn’t want to pull it apart and actually eat the candies. (Yea! for no sugar-rush!) This building with candy project was a hit with all my kids and is a great Valentine’s Day STEM activity for February.
Materials needed for Valentine’s Day STEM Activity:
Sour cherry candies
Pipe cleaners (optional)
I was home alone with Jaida for a while, so she was the first to explore the new building material. (That’s why all the pictures are of her even though all the kids built structures.)
I liked how the candies required a bit more pressure to push the toothpicks in making it an even better fine-motor activity than the marshmallows.
I didn’t offer Jaida any guidance since we had done a similar activity several times before, so she made her creation all on her own.
She started by trying to make the base and the walls all separate, but she quickly realized that there would be an overlap on the corners if she used that method. This caused her to try something different. Activities like this are great for problem-solving skills!
Then she decided that her corners needed to be fortified, so she added extra toothpicks before adding her roof.
After she finished her house, she decided to take some pipe cleaners and create a ballerina complete with ballerina slippers and laces.
I love the imagination of this girl!!
Once she had finished the ballerina, she wanted a chair for the dancer to sit in, so one of the older girls made one for her.
And of course she discovered that the ballerina’s head was a perfect peek hole!
Using open-ended activities like these can really bring out a child’s problem-solving and creative skills. There is no right or wrong way to explore building, so the child can make multiple kinds of structures and, like Jaida, they can involve their pretend play skills as well. My girls are constantly telling stories about the things that they create.