STEM activities are great ways to get kids engaged with problem solving, fine motor skill development and scientific thinking. And when it comes to Valentine’s Day craft planning, you can always find something STEM-focused on Pinterest! I stumbled upon a craft that involved heart-shaped marshmallows and toothpicks, which brought back memories of creating structures like these in grade school.
It’s sometimes hard to find a craft that kids of different ages will be able to do on their own with little assistance. When it requires fine motor skills like sticking a toothpick in a marshmallow, it could present some challenges. But I was pleasantly surprised that my youngest had a ball with this. She actually kind of blew me away with what she created, all without asking me for help.
In terms of supplies, you’ll need toothpicks, mini marshmallows, heart-shaped marshmallows and heart-shaped jelly candies (optional), and cookie sheets or some portable surface to work on. I ordered the heart-shaped marshmallows and toothpicks first. The marshmallows turned out to be bigger than I expected (I somehow didn’t see the “campfire” description which would mean they’re large), but they actually worked out well as a base for their creations. I then went to the supermarket to look for the mini hear marshmallows, but they didn’t have any. That’s where improvisation comes in and you go with whatever will work – the mini marshmallows and the jelly hearts.
One of the only challenges we had once they got started was for me not to hover over and tell them what to do. It’s hard when you’re a creative person as well to try and have some control over the outcome. What I did find though was that my youngest was the least restrained with her creativity. She just got right in there and started making. They all eventually found their vision and came up with 3 totally different designs.
Catherine, my middle daughter, went with a more structured building approach with her marshmallows
Maddy, my eldest, had a little trouble deciding what to do, but she said her final designs were cakes (Cake Wars fan!)
And then Evelyn, my youngest, was a total surprise. Not only did she take to the activity with delicate precision, but she made such a cool design. I think the end result looks a little like an abstract clock.
When the girls were done, we let their designs sit out and harden for a few days.
Below are 7 other ideas to bring some STEM into your Valentine’s Day crafting. One of the best parts of seeing the end result is telling the kids that they just did science, technology, engineering and/or math!
The blog Little Bins For Little Hands has a ton of great STEM activities:
- Valentines Day Heart Slime Science Activity for Kids
- Valentines Day Coding STEM Binary Alphabet Beaded Hearts
- Valentines Day Candy Structures STEM Activity
- Crystal Hearts Valentine’s Day Science Experiment
And then here are a few other good ideas: