Tis the season of sugar. So why not turn it into a learning experience?
Around our house, it all started with two books. Iggy Peck Architect and Rosie Revere Engineer, written by Andrea Beatty and illustrated by David Roberts. Both are about young kids embracing the idea of being an inventor. Told in a creative-but-won’t-drive-you-batty rhyme, Iggy Peck, Architect is the tale of a curious character who has one passion: building. When his second grade teacher tells him that architecture has no place in the classroom, he’s challenged to prove her wrong. Of course, he ends up saving the day.
Rosie Revere, Engineer is the story of a young girl who may seem quiet in the classroom but spends her own time building imaginative gizmos. When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal–to fly–Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true. Except things don’t quite go as expected… Personally, I love the you can only fail if you quit message.
Of course, after reading about building things the Bug wanted to start building on her own. Enter toothpicks and gummies… and candy architecture!
I love this kitchen science activity because it can be as involved as you’d like. It’s the perfect keep ’em busy while the spaghetti noodles cook for 10 minutes, or spend a lengthy afternoon building a sculpture of your own home.
Wee Chic was kind enough to give us some of the gummy candy from their Candy Bar (did you know their new space has a candy bar? Tres (cool)). We gave the Bug and her friend E candy and toothpicks and let them go to town.
Here are some of the science concepts we talked about during their building process:
Basic Principals of Structural Engineering: What do you need to do to make sure your building doesn’t fall down?
Basic Geometry: What worked better when building? Triangles or squares? Why do you think this is?
Building Materials: What kinds of materials make a building? How are gummies and toothpicks like these building materials?
Vary the activity by giving your child access to different shapes and sizes of gummies, or try something like marshmallows.
Think they had fun?