When I brought out the spaghetti and marshmallows, I think my children thought we were having some kind of weird and wonderful dinner, not building structures.
This is a great STEM activity for children of most ages, as you can tailor it to their understanding. I let my 2-year-old 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.
Older children can think carefully about which shapes are strong shapes and will support their structure the best.
How to build a marshmallow tower
Spaghetti ( uncooked! )
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, it started to lean very precariously to the right, and one of the vertical spaghetti 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 be fun to try lots of different shapes to see if we could break them. Straight lines and marshmallow corners tend to lead to triangles, but we had a lot of fun with other shapes too.
Make it a game. Challenge friends or family to see who can build the tallest tower!
Try miniature and then giant marshmallows. Which are easiest to build with?
Stable structure secrets
Triangles are great for making a stable structure.
Consider where the centre of gravity is in your tower. A wide base helps stability, giving a centre of gravity low down and central.
More engineering challenges
Discover why domes are so strong with this eggshell bridge!
Build a famous monument with newspaper!
Build bridges with different shaped paper and cardboard to investigate which is the strongest!
Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls has a fantastic LEGO bridge building challenge you might like too!
Last Updated on April 27, 2023 by Emma Vanstone
My son would also think spaghetti and marshmellows would make a great dinner!
Laura @ You, me & the mindee's
Looks great fun, my 2yo would love this. Will definitely be trying it out x
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!
maryanne @ mama smiles
My kids love doing this, although we’ve always used toothpicks instead of pasta. Love the extra challenge pasta adds!
This looks fun! 🙂
Wonderful idea on the marshmallows!
What a fun experiment! Were the marshmallows fresh? How many did you guys eat in the process? That would be my biggest problem.:)
they were fresh, but older might work better? We ate uhm…several 🙂
Great fun. I’d have to buy 4 times the amount. 1 to build and 3 for the girls to eat!!
ha ha, we did go through a lot!
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!!
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!
Looks like fun! Knowing my girls though, they’d try to eat everything (including the raw spaghetti) before they actually made anything!
We did this before with toothpicks, but the extra challenge of pasta is kind of intriguing.
Thanks for linking to Science Sunday!
Oh, how fun!! Reminds me of my days teaching geometry. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!