Making Marshmallow and Toothpick Sculptures

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Toothpick and Marshmallow Sculptures for Kids - Construction for KidsMaking marshmallow and toothpick sculptures is an activity that I’ve been wanting to try with Maia for a while now.

I think I first came across the idea of building toothpick sculptures in one of MaryAnn Kohl’s books—maybe Scribble Art.

I just kept it in the back of my mind as part of my neverending list of artful projects to do one day.

Until early December that is.

I found myself in the baking aisle of the grocery store for the umpteenth time and finally snagged a bag of mini marshmallows.

Since I remembered something about hard, stale marshmallows working better than soft ones, I spread them out on a cookie sheet, and stashed them out of sight above the kitchen cupboards (otherwise I’m sure they wouldn’t have lasted long with our marshmallow-loving kid around). But of course out of sight is out of mind, and I completely forgot about them until yesterday.

They were nice and stale!


Making these marshmallow and toothpick sculptures was the perfect after-school construction project to do with Maia.

We connected the marshmallows with toothpicks. Or rather, connected the toothpicks with marshmallows.

What started off as a low-key sculpture-building activity became a lesson in building and geometry as we learned what shapes were the strongest and provided the most support (triangles rule!).

Here are a few pics:


A marshmallow and toothpick ladder to the moon…


Some marshmallow and toothpick houses…


The beginnings of a more elaborate marshmallow and toothpick sculpture…


And one of the finished marshmallow and toothpick sculptures!

Have you tried building with toothpicks yet?

If not, I highly recommend it!

More Toothpick Sculptures

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  1. Kim says

    We did this for my son’s science-themed birthday party as an activity as the kids arrived. We used gum drops and it worked great! Lots of fun. Even the adults enjoyed it.
    Looks like a great snowy day activity.

  2. Alex says

    Ha! I just did that with Miss 3 1/2, and she put each one on a toothpick…and then into her mouth. I modeled building, etc, and she ate until she had a big meltdown later. Now she keeps asking to “build with marshmallows.” My mom did this with me in the 70s with soaked dried peas. I just saw them at a health food market yesterday and I think I’ll try that next.

  3. Megan says

    This is one of our favorite camping activities! When the kiddos get restless, we pull this out but we also add cheerios or Fruit loops.
    The kids get really creative and it provides a snack as well! Mess-free fun!

  4. says

    Fun!!! My daughters (8 + 11) love this, and fresh marshmallows do work wonderfully. This was one of the activities at my daughter’s 11th birthday party and it was a hit with the kids, aged 7-11.

  5. MaryAnn F. Kohl, art book author says

    Kids love making those long ladders… fun!! It’s one of those ideas that is just that, FUN!

  6. MaryAnn F. Kohl, art book author says

    You can also do this with dried peas soaked in water overnight to make them soft, and then when the sculpture dries again the peas harden and the sculpture is strong. But it takes more dexterity so better for older kids.

  7. says

    this is a really fun activity–we did it last year, but could probably do it again! i love how the marshmallows get harder as you leave it for a couple of days and adds stability!

  8. says

    What a great idea! My 4 year old is really into building right now. Maia’s sculptures are gorgeous! Isnt’t it amazing what kids can create? I can’t wait to try this with my daughter.

  9. Acacia @ Be Present says

    Hee, hee. Planned on doing this to make snowflakes today and add white glitter, cuz it’s finally snowing a good bountiful snow in Kansas City. Love it!
    Just found your blog through Rhythm of the HOme. Lovely, creative blog and family. Perfect fit for me. I was an art teacher previous to staying home so we do a lot of creating too.

  10. says

    We did it after a Sunday dinner! I thought my 3 & 6 year old grandsons would like it – and they did! Building with Uncle Jake who is 23, so funny!

  11. amy says

    we did this activity at my son’s preschool last week and it was a huge hit! the kids were lined up at the activity table to get a turn. the kids were really into it. loved everyone’s ideas…especially the packing peanuts idea.

  12. says

    This activity reminds me of my Science project. I also used toothpicks and marshmallows for presenting atomic models. Actually, I’ve used different colors of marshmallows to differentiate the elements.