Gumdrop Geometry Math Fun

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Gumdrops and toothpicks make fabulous, budget-friendly math manipulatives.   

This lesson is great for kids who love to build, and who are learning about their geometric shapes.  I personally love this lesson for Summers, Holiday breaks, and the end of the school year.  Kids are a little bit more antsy around these times of year and sometimes it helps to have a math lesson that is a bit off the normal grid.  This one fits the bill perfectly!  

This lesson includes 2 different worksheets.  Simply click on each picture to get the FREE PDF.  Younger students can make 2-D shapes, while older students can make 3-D shapes!  

With the provided worksheets (above) this lesson is a cinch to pull off!  Make sure you have enough gumdrops and toothpicks.  Give each student a pile of both.  For a fairly complex 3-D figure, a student will likely need a pile of 25-35 gumdrops, and twice as many toothpicks.  Students building a 2-D figure will need much less of each.  

Variations:  Marshmallows can be used as a less colorful (and slightly cheaper) option.  Dried Spaghetti noodles can be used instead of toothpicks.  

  1. Students build their figure and use the following page to name and sketch their shape.  
  2. Students count the number of sides and vertices in their geometric figure and fill in the appropriate boxes.
  3. What does their shape remind them of?  Students draw or name that shape in the appropriate box.  For example, a triangle or pyramid might remind a student of a teepee.  
  4. Students share their papers with a partner or group!

For another exciting gumdrop activity that can be used in conjunction with this one, try Gumdrop Multiplication and Addition. It's a super cool math lesson!  Each gumdrop is given a numerical value of the teacher's choosing, and then the students do the math to find the value of their entire geometric sculpture!  SUCH FUN!