Engineering a Dinosaur (STEM Activity with Marshmallows!)
Dinosaurs are fascinating. Build your own and learn the basic concepts of engineering (like planning, construction, and review) with this STEM activity!
This activity is great for groups of kids of varied ages. The older kids will understand and appreciate how each marshmallow and straw piece fit together, and how it mimics the joints and bones of the dinosaur’s body. Younger kids can participate as well, but let’s be honest – they just really enjoy squishy, tasty marshmallows.
Dinosaur toys (a photo also works!)
1. Choose a dinosaur type to build. This can be as simple as looking up a photo of a T-Rex, or choosing a toy from your dino collection.
2. Using only marshmallows and straws, the challenge is to create a free-standing dinosaur. Younger participants can use a flat surface to build their dinos lying flat. Cut the straws as long or short as you need to create a replica of the dinosaur you’ve chosen.
3. As you’re building the dinosaur, ask your child the questions below:
– Which part of the body should you build first? (Hint: Planning how you’ll build your dinosaur can help you spot potential problems.)
– Where do the arms and legs of the dinosaur connect to the body? (Hint: A marshmallow probably goes here!)
– When you’re finished building, how did you decide which pieces go where? (Build critical thinking skills!)