Marshmallow and Toothpick Architecture

This activity incorporates tons of math through play by hitting the following math content standards for children ages 4-5: 

  • Recognize and name typical shapes (square, triangle)
  • Demonstrate one-to-one correspondence up to 10 

How to deal with the inevitable power struggle that will emerge when a toddler is confronted with a bowl of sugary marshmallows? Turn impulse control into a learning opportunity: 

I invited Niko to keep a running tally of every marshmallow he’d eat by having him draw a detailed picture of it on a piece of paper. I let him eat a maximum of 10 marshmallows for the sake of developing solid toddler-math-skills (counting up to ten). We would pause every so often to count the total consumed. And just like that we were learning a fundamental building block of mathematical thinking: one-to-one correspondence!

Try it out and let me know how it goes!