boredom buster {marshmallows & toothpicks}

I saw this idea on Apartment Therapy. It was originally from The Artful Parent. Genius idea.

The little people are getting restless around here…their mommy is even worse. This activity kept all four entertained for about 20 minutes…even longer for the 2 & 6 year olds.


You should take a few minutes this weekend and check out The Artful Parent. Here are some ideas I really hope to try out:

Candy Cane playdough – next Christmas

Rubber Cement and watercolors

Texture painting with toddlers

Okay, too be honest I want to copy all her projects. It is winter and The Artful Parent blog just might save my sanity!

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  • amanda torres - Ah man! I used to do a form of this to teach prisms to 4th graders. I wish I’d of thought of marshmellows. I used little tiny balls of clay. Marshmellows would have been easier ‘vertices’. Thanks for passing this on. We’ll be doing this today! I kick myself in the rear almost daily when I see things I used to do with my school kids and have yet to transfer it to my own.

  • Tess S - AWESOME! we used a cute little blog last year to entertain us through the winter and she had stopped blogging. i was crushed. it’s like losing a friend. thanks for finding and sharing the artful parent!! love it!

  • Ruth - Thanks Ashley! I now know what I am going to do with my two sick-ish kids this morning!

  • Anna Marie - Thanks for posting this and that blog. My 3 1/2 year old will love these ideas!!!

  • Yanet - That’s some pretty fancy building Chris and Biggest Brother are up to! I can tell your family is pretty used to you taking shots like mine is. The one from up above, were you standing on the table? I can just picture it (because it’s totally something I’d do), you’re standing on the table shooting away and they think nothing of it doing their marshmallow thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kirsten - Isn’t her blog wonderful??? We’ve used a lot of her ideas on snowy, cold, or rainy days, too. Haven’t tried this one, though – I just might grab some supplies while I’m out! My husband is an engineer – he and Kiddo would have so much fun.

  • Sadie - Great post. I love this idea and I will have to give it a go as well!

  • Jodi - I have been following her blog for a long time now! She is one of my favorites. Along with yours of course!!! Love the creativity your family came up with using the marshmallows!

  • Jen Helbert - oh my goodness…i cannot handle all the itty bitty hands in your pictures! thanks for the blog tip, cabin fever is floating around in our household.

  • Julie B - Ellie made one of these in Pre-k and brought it home yesterday. Then she dropped it and it broke. The marshmallows were hard so we couldn’t “rebuild” it. They have been talking about construction and I thought how clever they were to have them build something with materials other than popsicle sticks and glue.

  • amy - my daughter just did this at school but they used spaghetti noodles…raw obviously. great way to teach 3D shapes.

  • Liz - WOW! I need that for my three boys today! Thank you!

  • carrie @ brick city love - Hi Ashley! I’ve been following your blog for a long time (LOVE your photo tips & projects!!) but don’t think I’ve every commented. I’m not a parent but thanks for the link! You find the most awesome things.

  • Elisabeth - Hi Ashley! We did the same thing as a boredom buster this summer, but used bigger marshmallows and straws: My little man was napping at the time, but I think the straws would’ve been less hazardous for him. So glad to know about this blog–thanks!

  • Laurie J - looks like a way to beat the winter blues this weekend! CABIN FEVER
    thanks for the idea ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sarah - Awesome! Thanks for sharing… I’ve been needing some fun activities for Kenzie.

  • Shannon - I saw this too and wanted to try it! The kiddos are going to Grandma’s this weekend(she begged me for them lol) but it is a 3 day weekend so maybe Monday we will give this a shot!

  • CharlaL - thanks for the link…my youngest and I just made the ice wreath(we used oranges on their last leg and holly leafs)!!! Hopefully it be cold awhile! Marshmallow sculptures up next! Keep the great ideas coming!!!! still can’t wait to see your bedroom floor!

  • the whyte house - thanks for the link and fun ideas! i have a 3 and 5 yr old over here that have the tummy bug…only they act fine when they’re not in the bathroom puking(ha!), so they’re getting stir crazy. we’ve done a little water painting, but the wizard of oz is saving my sanity. big time. ๐Ÿ™‚ as much as i like that, i’d rather them do something hands-on than have to listen to the munchkins sing their songs. haha.

  • ashlee - oh my word, my physics loving boys are going to die when i show them this!!!

  • Blanca - I can’t wait to here the words “I’m bored.”. I will certainly give them this little project.

    Way cool!


  • Anja - thank you so much for sharing all this! Makes me smile at the end of soooo loud and stressful days. Life with those littles ist wonderful and your blog helps me see that in all the chaos here ๐Ÿ™‚
    a big thank you from germany

  • tiffany feger - I read this then did it w/ my boys and blogged it on my family blog:) we did this last year too. yours are amazing! lst year we just did snow men. here’s today:

  • amber - Kinda obvious whose brain your 2 & 6 year old have;). I love seeing daddy’s in their kids. Especially their boys. Really cool. And…I want to squish Littlest Brother. Your pictures of him make him seem squishy SWEET.

  • giozi - He he he. Your little boy is so concentred and happy ๐Ÿ˜€

  • giozi - Your little sculture remind me Theo Jansen

  • Marykay - Thank you, thank you, thank you! I need some inspiration for things to do with my kids. I’m so sick of doing the same things over and over and over and over…

  • Kristin S - Last year in an effort to recruit college students to come work with us, we had them do some competitive team work.

    Gave them a pile of spaghetti and bag of bigger sized marshmallows. The goal was to work together to make the HIGHEST structure.

    It was a blast! Of course the goal was to learn to work together but they had fun too.

  • sarah - Oh man I am going to get my “mother of the year” crown back from my sister when I bust this out at family dinner on Sunday! Thank you!

  • Aja Vaught - That’s a great idea! I usually send mini pretzel sticks and marshmellows with my son to pre-k when it’s our turn to bring snack and that’s what the kids do with them. Although the toothpicks will hold better!

  • Life on the Ranch…. « These Stones - […] ~fun marshmallow 3-D structures (thanks to Ashley Ann Photography for the idea!) […]

  • Becca G - saw this in an old childcraft book except they used peas. i like the marshmellows much better. less squishy mess. fun!

  • Victoria - What a great project, perfect for the winter chill! Although I fear mine would just eat up the marshmallows and end up with more energy via sugar than when we began;)

  • Digital Backround Gal - Love this idea…I’ll have to try it with my little girl this week!
    Thanks so much!!

  • Jenn from The Mustard Seed Blog - That looks like such a fun activity! And I love that it does not involve a single electronic device (as I type this on my laptop, haha). It’s just great to unplug for a bit.

  • Sistergirl - Love you ideas.

  • Beth - I sat in church (TCABC) this morning and cringed, just a little, when Chris announced this his wife was a blogger. I know many women who prefer to blog in anonymity. And I some times wish my mother didn’t read my blog! LOL! Anyway … I was curious enough to “google” you and was delighted to find your lovely blog and make the *connection* between you, Ashley Ann Photography, and Under the Sycamore (which I think I’ve visited before). It may be a small world but it’s still some days hard to figure out who is who! Anyway … I’m delighted to meet you! And I promise I paid attention to the rest of the service! Chris did a great job! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Melissa - Thank you! Tried this last night. The kids had a blast!

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  • Gina - Cute! I’ve just run across you on Pinterst and love your beautiful photos. We do this too, with marshmallows and with gumdrops — not only a great everyday boredom buster but super party game. Beautiful shown. It’s wonderful to find like-minded creatives — I look forward to returning to your blog.

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