# Looking at structures

When I brought out the spaghetti and marshmallows I think my children thought we were having some kind of weird and wonderful ( to them ) dinner, not building structures.

This is a great activity for children of most ages as you can tailor it to their understanding. I let my 2 year old just build whatever she wanted, and she had a great time working out how to put the spaghetti in the right places. With my 4 year old we were a bit more structured and tried to build a tower.

What you need

Spaghetti ( uncooked! )

Marshmallows

What to do

Snap the spaghetti into smaller pieces.

Push the ends of the spaghetti into the marshmallows to build different shapes for your tower.

We started with a cube but when we put weight (Pooh bear in our case) on, it started to lean very precariously to the right and one of the spaghetti vertical pieces snapped.  We then discussed what we would do to make it stronger. We decided to add some diagonal pieces which seemed to do the trick.

We thought it would then be quite good fun to mess about trying lots of different shapes and see if we could break them.  Straight lines and marshmallow corners tend to lead pretty much to triangles but we had a lot of fun with other shapes too.

The Science Bit

Cubes tend to make stable structures, especially if they have diagonal pieces to strengthen the sides.

Can you show us some structures you have made?

1. Kelly

My son would also think spaghetti and marshmellows would make a great dinner!

2. Actually Mummy...

GG and her class did this not long ago. The marshmallows looked a bit grubby by the time they were finished, and gradually the structures were missing bits! I hate to think what got consumed in the end!

3. maryanne @ mama smiles

My kids love doing this, although we’ve always used toothpicks instead of pasta. Love the extra challenge pasta adds!

1. ScienceSparks

Thank you

4. Shiloh

What a fun experiment! Were the marshmallows fresh? How many did you guys eat in the process? That would be my biggest problem.:)

1. ScienceSparks

they were fresh, but older might work better? We ate uhm…several 🙂

5. @BlueBearWood

Great fun. I’d have to buy 4 times the amount. 1 to build and 3 for the girls to eat!!

1. ScienceSparks

ha ha, we did go through a lot!

6. RockerMom

We did this a few weeks ago. We used mini marshmallows and toothpicks. The large marshmallows seem like they’d work better and the variations in possible lengths of the spaghetti would lead to more possibilities. Thanks for sharing!!

7. Angela

My kindergarten did this a few weeks ago with toothpicks and marshmallows. The structure she made was so amazing! And she had a great time doing it too. I was delighted to receive a full explanation of how the structure she made works and how she added supports in different places to make it strong!

8. Jamie H

Looks like fun! Knowing my girls though, they’d try to eat everything (including the raw spaghetti) before they actually made anything!

9. Ticia

We did this before with toothpicks, but the extra challenge of pasta is kind of intriguing.

Thanks for linking to Science Sunday!

10. Carrie

Oh, how fun!! Reminds me of my days teaching geometry. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!