Children learn best through play. Exploring new concepts and ideas in a hands-on and active way, allows them to be much more engaged in the learning process.
This Marshmallow Shooter activity provides kids with an exciting and playful experience, that also incorporates important science concepts, such as velocity, force, and gravity.
How to make a Marshmallow Shooter
Step 1: Cut off the bottom portion of a disposable cup.
Step 2: Snip the top of a balloon off, stretch it over the bottom of the cup, and tie a knot in the opposite end of the balloon.
Step 3: Place tape around the cut edges of the balloon, securing it to the cup. This will make it more durable, and prevent the balloon from snapping off while being used.
Step 4: Grab some marshmallows, place one in the cup, aim, and start shooting.
When we used our Marshmallow Shooters for the first time, I didn’t demonstrate how they worked. Instead, I handed them over to the kids, to see if they could figure it out on their own. It didn’t take long!
This turned out to be an activity the whole family loved. It had us chasing each other all over the house, and even outside. Anytime I can find something the younger kids like as much as the older kids, I consider that a win.
We experimented with different forces – pulling the balloon back just a little bit creates a small amount of force, whereas pulling it back more, creates a bigger force. This resulted in the marshmallows flying a greater distance, and at a higher rate of speed.
As the kids tried to guess how far they could shoot, we explored estimation. We also measured the distance of some of the marshmallows, and compared the results.
Another fun discovery the children made, while experimenting with the Marshmallow Shooters, is that weight has a major impact on how far an object will travel. For example, when we used pom poms, we learned that they don’t travel as far, due to their light weight. Marshmallows, on the other hand, are heavier and travel much farther and faster.
Making Marshmallow Shooters is simple and fun, leading to lots of hands-on learning for all ages. These are great for in the classroom, at home, or anywhere.
Try these other fantastic ideas for experimenting with marshmallows:
Be sure to check out our Science Activities for Kids board on Pinterest for tons of ideas.