Makers Series 2 Session 2 – The Marshmallow Battle

Apparently, the pull of marshmallows is so strong that it can keep even the most die-hard ski kids off the slopes on a half day, because even with a foot of new snow and a short school day, I had a full house for our epic marshmallow battle. This was a serious hit with the Makers and they are already asking for round two, and bonus, it’s probably one of the cheapest maker activities I’ve done at the library.

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Materials:

Large Marshmallows (buy more than you think you’ll need, we used two full bags for 14 kids)

Skewers (figure 8-10 per kid)

Mini marshmallows (these are for ammunition, so one bag should do)

Plastic spoons

Masking tape

Rubber bands (the thin kind that come wrapped around newspapers)

I got the basic instructions here but this being Makers, I wanted the kids to explore possibilities on their own. We talked about tension and force and I modeled the basic set up then let them go with building. Once everyone had a catapult built we lined them up on one side of the room and the competition began.

First we tested for distance, three rounds of one shot per person to see who could shoot the furthest. They needed a little time between rounds to adjust and repair their systems and a few collapsed so I encouraged them to join up with another person to keep the competition going.

Secondly we tested for accuracy, with the kids choosing between trying to aim for a friends mouth or aiming for a rectangle on the floor, this was particularly hilarious and almost no one made the target, but it was a lot of fun.

Finally we just flung marshmallows everywhere with the catapults. I paid the kids in marshmallows to get them to clean up (which worked brilliantly, who knew they’d pick up 25 marshmallows each and wipe smooshed ones off the floor for a few minis to eat?)

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Hands down my favorite Makers so far.

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