Build Geometric Shapes with Marshmallows and Toothpicks

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Marshmallow and toothpicks geometry is a super fun way to teach your kids 2D and 3D shapes. 

For preschoolers, you can teach them basic 2D shapes like triangles, rectangles, and squares, and even introduce to them the concept of sides and vertices (corners). For kindergarteners and first graders, you can explore 3D shapes like different prisms and pyramids and count how many faces and edges each shape has.

Marshmallow Building Shapes

If your kids are resisting learning geometry, this is the way to introduce 2D and 3D shapes to them! My kids jumped on this activity right away and wanted to build all kinds of structures with marshmallows and toothpicks. 

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that sometimes you find marshmallows that are too small to use for building shapes. Off into your kids’ bellies they go!

Printable Geometry Cards

To make building the geometric shapes easier, I have an awesome set of printable marshmallow and toothpick geometry task cards for you to download. You can keep the laminate the cards use them for geometry lessons. 

The task cards include both 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional shapes, so you can pick and choose which ones fit your child’s level. You can cover the graphics for your older kids to figure out how to build the shapes themselves, and your younger kids can use the graphics as a guide. The task cards also include questions on how many vertices, sides, faces, and edges the shapes have.

Marshmallow 2D and 3D Shape Cards

My kids truly enjoyed using these cards in this hands-on activity to learn shapes. My son had a brief lesson on 3D shapes in kindergarten before, but it wasn’t until we did this activity that he really grasped the concept of faces because he had a model right in front of him.

Shapes Included in the Geometry Task Cards

2D shapes:

  • Triangle
  • Square
  • Rhombus
  • Rectangle
  • Parallelogram
  • Trapezoid
  • Pentagon
  • Hexagon
  • Heptagon
  • Octagon
  • Nonagon
  • Decagon
  • Star

3D shapes:

  • Cube
  • Triangular pyramid 
  • Square pyramid
  • Pentagonal pyramid 
  • Hexagonal pyramid
  • Octahedral pyramid
  • Triangular prism
  • Rectangular prism
  • Pentagonal prism
  • Hexagonal prism
  • Octahedral prism
Marshmallow Geometric Shape Cards Pyramid

How to Learn Shapes with Marshmallows and Toothpicks

Materials:

Directions:

  1. Take out the cards with the shapes you want your kids to learn.
  2. Either shuffle them and have your kids pick a card at random, or give your kids the geometric cards you would like them to complete.
  3. Get out a bag of mini marshmallows and toothpicks and let your kids build the 2D and 3D shapes!

Final Thoughts on Learning Geometry with Marshmallows

Learning geometry is like learning science – it’s best to have hands-on, interactive activities where the kids can visually see what’s going on. Especially when it comes to 3D shapes, it’s really difficult for young kids to grasp how many edges and faces a 3D shape has when they can’t see it right in front of them. 

I hope the geometric cards make learning shapes super fun for your kids!

For more marshmallow activities:

Marshmallow Toothpick Shapes Printable Cards

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