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Edible constructions

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

Materials

  • Toothpicks
  • Jam
  • Honey
  • Vegemite
  • 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.

Extensions

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

PREPARED FOR THE EDUCATION HUB BY

Dr Vicki Hargraves

Vicki runs our ECE webinar series and also is responsible for the creation of many of our ECE research reviews. Vicki is a teacher, mother, writer, and researcher living in Marlborough. She recently completed her PhD using philosophy to explore creative approaches to understanding early childhood education. She is inspired by the wealth of educational research that is available and is passionate about making this available and useful for teachers.