Summary: Bring a playful element to snack time by challenging your child’s creativity and construction skills
Set-up: 10 minutes
Play: 30 minutes, or until they get really hungry
Complexity: Easy – medium
- A range of fruits, vegetables, popcorn and marshmallows
What to do
Prepare a plate of fruit and vegetables cut into different shapes and sizes. Cut some of the toothpicks in half with scissors. Show children our photo as an example, or make your own example, then invite children to build their own creature. Help them to think through all the body parts that their creature needs (how many legs etc.). Brainstorm methods of joining the different parts – what could stick the pieces together? Ask children questions about what they are doing, for example, about why they are choosing carrots for legs.
Think about a habitat for their creature, where would their creature normally live? How could they use food to make that? Consider using bread, large leaves of kale or lettuce, or cooking some rice (even colouring it with food colouring) to make a stage or backdrop for their creature.
Eat the creations. What happens to their model creature as they eat away its legs?
Challenge your child to build a tower from toothpicks. This challenge works well with marshmallows. For example, you could start your child off by making a cube shape from toothpicks with a marshmallow at each corner, and extend from there. How tall can they make their tower before it falls over?
What learning does this activity promote?
Fine motor skills, creativity, perseverance, vocabulary, problem-solving, and delaying gratification(!)
By Dr Vicki Hargraves