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!

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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.

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  • 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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