STEAM activities are a big deal around our house, and the kids loved this Popsicle Stick Geometry activity that happened this week. It is a great way to practice math by making geometric shapes, and the colorful popsicle sticks added a fantastic artistic element as the kids designed their pieces. The engineering was a bit tricky because all they had to work with was a one-sided pinching clothes pin, and that presented some challenges they weren’t expecting.
It started with my toddler who was bored while here siblings were at school. I pulled out my crafting crate and took out the popsicle sticks and clothes pins. She sat down next to me with a pile of both in front of her and had a fun 30 minutes of clipping and unclipping pins. As soon as the older kids walked in from school, they jumped right in to start making their own creations. It was so fun to watch what they came up with. My second grader made an adorable house and spokes for a wheel. Then I asked my fifth grader to see how many geometric shapes she could make.
One of her favorite shapes was the star. Working with all of the points was a bit tricky, but once she got it she begged to keep it as artwork for her wall. She also made octagons, squares, and triangles. Then she started combining some of them to create all new designs.
I loved this STEAM activity because it was colorful and activated some serious creativity. One of the things I would like to have them explore the next time we pull this out is 3D shapes. While creating shapes with a one ended connector was tricky, building 3D shapes with it would be much more challenging. I am curious to see how they would manipulate the clothespins to support a taller structure. It could be a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to try it.
This activity is absolutely simple to set up. It is perfect for a rainy afternoon at home or a STEAM project in the classroom. It works for a variety of ages as well with the designs becoming more complex as the children get older. Colored popcicle sticks or clothespins add artistic elements to the project, but it could be done in monochromatic wood tones as well.
I hope you are feeling inspired by our STEAM Popsicle Stick Geometry Activity and coming up with ideas of how to use it in your homes or classrooms. Feel free to share what you make with us either in a comment below or tag us on Facebook or Instagram.