Grab a box of toothpicks and a bag of gumdrops for some hands-on and festive STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)!
To prep the STEM activity, I printed the challenge cards on cardstock to give them extra durability and laminated them for easy reuse. Then I cut along the thin grey lines to separate the pieces.
I grabbed a Vis-a-vis marker, a box of toothpicks and a bag of gumdrops.
That’s it! We were ready to jump in and start building.
I included two levels of difficulty in the STEM pack – a batch of 2-dimensional shapes for newer builders and a set of 3-dimensional cards for kids who were ready for a challenge.
To start, I gave my son the 2D cards so he could review the characteristics of each one.
He grabbed one at a time, built it, and then counted the number of sides and vertices (corners) it had.
The next day, he was eager for a challenge so I pulled out the second set of 3-dimensional cards. He used the picture as a clue to figure out how to build each shape.
There was plenty of trial and error but, after a few minutes, he finished the project and proudly counted the number of edges and vertices.
The toothpick challenge cards were such a simple way to add some Christmas-themed STEM learning to our day.
And I’m excited to swap out the gumdrops for jelly beans this spring!