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4 Weeks of Frugal Family Fun: Marshmallow & Toothpick Structures (Day 5)

I was inspired by Angie from Creating Our Home for today’s project! And I’m so glad we tried this because it was a huge hit — especially with Kathrynne.

All you need is a bag of mini marshmallows and some toothpicks. You might have both on hand, or you could pick them up at the Dollar Store or Walmart very inexpensively.

Show your children how to connect the toothpicks and marshmallows together to make structures and then let them be creative and see what they come up with!

I gave each of the children their own bowls of marshmallows to make it easier (and to prevent any possible arguments over who gets the marshmallow bag!).

And don’t forget to have a snack of marshmallows at the end!

I think Silas enjoyed the snacking on marshmallows at the end best of all! 🙂

Did you do something fun and frugal as a family today? If you blogged about it, I’d love for you to leave a link to your blog post below. Or, you can just tell us what you did in the comments.

Note: Since the purpose of this series is to encourage you to be intentional about fun in your home this summer, please only link up posts showing pictures/sharing details of fun things you did as a family today (or within the last few days). Posts that do not adhere to these guidelines will be deleted in order to make it fair for those who are putting forth a lot of effort to participate in this challenge.

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  • J says:

    Very cute idea.

  • Vera says:

    That’s a neat and simple idea! Idk why I haven’t thought of that yet, but lol guess that’s why you are here to help 🙂

  • Julie says:

    Ha ha! Once I went to a Christmas party & my white elephant gift was an elephant made from toothpicks & marshmallows! I thought I was very funny! 😉

  • Great idea. This would be useful for teaching about 3-D shapes or even molecules.

  • Kimberly says:

    I have used this idea in my classroom during my geometry unit for making both 3-D figures as well as the various polygons. Back during our dating days, my husband used some very small PVC pipe (found at ome improvement stores) and created blow “guns” and we had a marshmallow fight. Just a thought….. 🙂

  • I like this idea. I just might put those things on my grocery list next week and save it for when my daughter has a friend over and they are looking for something to do.

  • This is on our list to try too! I know my son will love it. It looks like Kathrynne is very smart and creative:)

  • Marie says:

    cute idea. My twins did this in preschool and had fun with it. Today my daughter was finially not running a temp! So we headed to the park for soccer clinic and then had a picnic and played at the park. the park has a splash pad but although the temp. was nice it was quite windy so we didn’t do the splash pad. Instead we played in the sand. I’m not a huge fan of sand but I had my secret weapon, baby powder, so it was ok. The kids enjoyed it and I enjoyed it with them.

    • veronica says:

      baby powder? I do not care for sand on me but my daughter loves it. What is that trick? Thank you

      • Lesley says:

        After you are done playing in the sand, sprinkle baby powder on your skin where the sand has stuck, rub a little and the sand comes right off.

  • I’m favoriting this post so that when Rene is older (even next year) we can try it. Right now, he would definitely be like Silas (more interested in the marshmallows…probably using the toothpick to make kabobs!). Yesterday (Thursday) Rene got to do his two favorite things: play with water and spend time with his granny and granddaddy (showing off the garden).

  • kj says:

    I like this idea!

  • Stacy says:

    This is such a fun idea! I’ve been wondering what to do with the bag of marshmallows in my cabinet! The kids will love this.

  • Rachael Warrington says:

    I wish I had seen this last week while I had my four year old niece and six year old nephew. I will pass it on yo my sister.

    Also just read through your work at home series. I am inspired…I have a blog that is going no where…I have been doing a ton of reading on blogging both subject and the nuts and bolts of it. But while reading your articles I realized that I have an idea, something that people have been asking non-stop on my facebook page. So thank you!!!

  • Karen says:

    We did this to go along with the tower of Babel in MFW1. The curriculum suggests using toothpicks & balls of clay, but this accomplished the same thing easier. My kids loved it! My 4 yo made a flat (2D) structure & my 6 yo made a tall one.

  • Jessica says:

    That’s a great idea!! Although I think at the ages my kids are they’d just want to eat the marshmallows! I love this series, thank you so much for the great ideas!!

  • Barbara says:

    I do this in the Geometry class I teach. It teaches kids not only 3d shapes but also points and lines and how they intersect. If you use different color toothpicks in the right order, it can also teach kids planes.

  • Mary Ellen says:

    We did this with spaghetti noodles. You can break the noodles in lots of different sizes!

  • Cassi says:

    I just might have to make a special trip to the store for some mini marshmallows so we can have some fun!

  • Kristin says:

    I am a teacher and doing a science enrichment tutoring “camp” this summer with some of my previous students. Each Tuesday and Thursday I have 4 kids for an hour and we do a fun science project. Yesterday we made solar ovens and baked s’mores in them. The kids loved it! It’s fun and helps me bring in some extra money during the summer! 🙂

  • Camille says:

    What a wonderful activity. I love combining fun with learning. Of course another bonus is that it’s edible too. 🙂

  • Shelly says:

    This is a great idea. I think that my son would probably just eat more than build too.
    We made some solar prints at our house with a kit we had for a while. We were happy to get outside for some fun again.

  • Becky says:

    I love this idea, also the idea that you use this idea to teach about molecules!

  • Dineen says:

    I saw a pin about doing this with play dough and toothpicks and I was just thinking about pulling this out of my bag of tricks for my little one. She is a sugar-hound, so marshmallows would end up in her mouth much more than in any creation. It’s a great naturalistic way to teach about 3-D geometry and patience. Will what you made stand up?

  • Larry says:

    We did these in scouts and the kids loved it. Not only fun to create and use their imaginations, but they get to eat afterwards.

  • Dianna says:

    My girls would love this. Going to put this one on the list of things to do.

  • Yvonne says:

    My daughter and I are working on a 30 day drawing and photo challenge that I found on Pinterest! Guess I didn’t fill out Mr. Linky the correct way though…

  • We had to clean rooms so we decided to get a little creative and have some family fun with it. We took pics of the process so it looks like a self-cleaning room. A way, funny project the kids loved.

  • ashley says:

    We do this with youth groups, challenging them to work together to build the tallest towers, except we use big marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti noodles.

  • Stephanie says:

    We are SO going to do this today!

  • Jess says:

    My girls are in elementary school, and my favorite summer frugal activity is to rent Just Dance from the Redbox for a day. We dance the entire day(and night), get great exercise, spend quality time together, and spend as little as 50 cents!

  • Cara says:

    Great series, we’ve been doing most of them outside though!! Save the kitchen table for a rainy day 🙂

  • Elise says:

    I’m not a kid and even *I* think that’s cool! 🙂

  • We love building with toothpicks and marshmallows –

    Another fun alternative is pretzel sticks and cheese cubes.

  • My 3 year old does this with cheese cubes. 🙂

  • Kandid Katie says:

    We had fun gardening this week!

  • Lesley says:

    We’ve done this before but with raisins instead of marshmallows.

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