Gumdrop STEM Structures

Nov 21, 2016

Activity for ages 4 to 8.

Incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) into the day can be as simple as grabbing a box of toothpicks and a bag of gumdrops. Our best selling STEM challenge cards are a hands-on, festive way to teach kids about 2D and 3D shapes this holiday season. Grab your pack in our shop or on Teachers Pay Teachers!


Getting Ready

To prep the STEM activity, I printed the challenge cards on cardstock to give them extra durability and laminated them for easy reuse. Then I cut along the thin grey lines to separate the pieces.

I grabbed a Vis-a-vis marker, a box of toothpicks and a bag of gumdrops.


That’s it! We were ready to jump in and start building.

Gumdrop Structures

I included two levels of difficulty in the activity pack – a batch of 2-dimensional shapes for newer builders and a set of 3-dimensional cards for kids who were ready for a challenge.

To start, I gave Middle Brother (age 5) the 2D cards. He grabbed one at a time, built it, and then counted the number of sides and vertices (corners) it had.


The next day, he was eager for a challenge so I pulled out the second set of 3-dimensional cards. He used the picture as a clue to figure out how to build each shape.


There was plenty of trial and error but, after a few minutes, he finished the project and proudly counted the number of edges and vertices.


The toothpick challenge cards were such a simple way to add some Christmas-themed STEM learning to our day. I’m excited to swap out the gumdrops for jelly beans this spring!

Download Your Set

Grab your pack of STEM challenge cards in our shop or on Teachers Pay Teachers!



  1. Molli

    I am a Physical Therapist and work at an Adult Day center. Most of our participants have dementia and I was looking for some hands on way to challenge them and to promote conversation. Do you have any free printables? We work on a very low budget as a Catholic Charities managed, non-profit entity

    • Ashley

      Hi Molli,
      We actually have a ton of free printables! While this activity, in particular, is a paid activity, we have variety of free resources.
      Can you tell me a little more about what you’re looking for?
      You can email me at for more information.
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador



  1. Candy Cane Marble Maze - Playdough To Plato - […] more holiday learning, build some gumdrop STEM structures and whip up a batch of minty reindeer […]

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