Build a Gumdrop Tower

Have you ever wondered how engineers manage to build buildings so high, they seem to reach above the clouds? Learning about how to create stable and strong structures of that size takes lots of education and practice, but did you know you can set yourself down that path with just a handful of candies and toothpicks? With this activity, children can use their imaginations to test out different methods to build tall and strong towers, and see for themselves what properties and combinations work the best. Budding engineers – let’s get to work! 

What You Need: 

  • 20 gumdrops (or other chewy candy) 
  • 20 toothpicks 

What To Do: 

To build your structure, put a toothpick into a gumdrop. Then, put a second toothpick into a different side of that gumdrop. Attach another gumdrop to the other ends of your toothpicks. Continue in this way, building up and sideways, to see how tall you can go! Here are some different variations to try – see which is the tallest and strongest or make up your own! You’re limited only by your imagination and number of toothpicks and gumdrops: 

  • Use only 5 toothpicks and 10 gumdrops 
  • Use all 20 toothpicks and 20 gumdrops 

Which combination was the tallest? Which was the strongest?   

Happy building, future engineers!