Preschool STEM Cranberry Build

Kids STEM Activity: Cranberry Build

Kids STEM Activities

Have any extra cranberries laying around and wondering how to occupy your kids so you can slave in the kitchen for hours this Thanksgiving?Check out this is awesome kids STEM cranberry building activity that kept my 4-year-old busy for 45 minutes!!! It is such a great activity that works on thinking, problem solving, and fine motor dexterity, while keeping them entertained.

Ages: 3 & up

Works on: Cognition & fine motor skills

Kids STEM Cranberry Build

kids STEM activities

This year, I am teaching science to 3-5 year olds and need to come up with something that can work between the multiple age groups, hit on different areas of developmental domains, and keep them entertained and impressed. My goal is to introduce them to how amazing science is and to help foster a love of questioning, exploration, and inquisitive thought. Little Bins for Little Hands has a great kids STEM activity with cranberries that is perfect for preschoolers. Over the years I have done this activity before, But never with cranberries. Not only are cranberries festive for this time of the year, but they are actually a great size for this activity. The size of the cranberries helps to strengthen the muscles in the fingers and hands because they have to hold onto those small berries firmly with one hand, while the other hand maneuvers the toothpick. Because they are constructing their own structures, they are working on cognition to figure out how to build a structure and how to keep it from breaking down.

What you need:

1. Cranberries (can also use marshmallows, grapes, olives, & apple slices)

2. Toothpicks (can also use pretzel sticks)

3. Plate or tray to put the item on (optional)


Give each child a handful of cranberries and a handful of toothpicks and let them go wild! Show them an example of you holding the cranberry with one hand and firmly sticking the toothpick in with the other hand. Show them how they have to push the toothpick in all the way, in order for the toothpick to stay in place. The kids will figure out through trial and error how to build, how many toothpicks one cranberry can hold, if they can build up, or if they can build out. Problem solving is part of this activity and crucial to their final structure.

The preschoolers at the school LOVED this activity so much. They all worked so hard and constructed masterpieces. They were very involved and exhibited so much concentration during the building process. Some of the older kids constructed very long and high elaborate pieces, while some of the younger kids played around with sticking in several cranberries and toothpicks together, but not connecting them into a whole structure. Note, these structures are hard to transport. Wherever they build their structure is where it should stay for a while.

Looking for other stimulating activities? Check out Preschool Counting & Pumpkin Physics.

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