Maths 3d shape challenge

3d Shapes using coloured marshmallows

Whilst perusing Pinterest and Google images to look for ideas on how to encourage children in their understanding of shape, in a fun and interesting way- using play and collaborative learning, I happened to come across this lovely colourful idea that I know my littlies will adore.

There was something quite special about seeing these little blobs of colour drying out on my drying boards!


Theses are simply mini marshmallows that bought from the supermarket, and coloured with food colours.

  • I added a ‘squidge’ (technical word for a bit) of food colour gel to 1.5 desert spoons of water, then added this to a bowl of white marshmallows.


  • I then placed these on a board lined with grease proof paper, try to ensure that the marshmallows aren’t sticking to one another.
  • Once these are dry (this took about 6hrs) carefully peel off each marshmallow, and dust with a little corn flour to stop them sticking to each other.

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  • When you have dusted them with corn flour, they are now ready to be played with.

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I sat back and observed the learning that was being achieved from this play session and these were the things I heard…

“I’m making a cube, I’m making a square based pyramid, I need to make the base more stable, I’m doing 3d shapes, you start from the base and then build it up, this is a triangle based pyramid, I’m using the bigger marshmallows so it’s stronger, I’m doing a square, now it’s turned into a diamond.”

Not only was there an abundance of opportunities for problem solving,  building/engineering, speaking and listening, shape, space and measure but also this was a great activity for fine motor control.

Did my little boy know he was learning? Did he heck, did he think he was playing… absolutely!


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