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    peas and toothpicks
    By Garden Gal

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    My favorite geometry activity is not a game but is highly engaging. The children create 3-D shapes using peas and toothpicks. I've also seen it done with bits of modeling clay instead of peas or with mini-marshmellows. The problem with marshmellows is they need to be air dried for a few days and if you live in a humid climiate it won't work in the summer.

    Directions-soak a package of whole dried peas overnight. You can find these with the dried beans at the grocery store. I've used small beans when I couldn't find whole peas. Give the children peas and toothpicks. Toothpicks should be pointed at both ends. I prefer natural colored picks but colored is fine too. Remind children to gently press the toothpick into the pea so that the pea doesn't split. I've done this with 1st Graders and they get the hang of it quickly. I always ask students to build a few conventional shapaes before going crazy with their own inventions. I require a cube and either a square or triangular base pryamid before elaborarions begin.
    Provide a strong surface for storing and transporting finished projects. Ask each child to bring large piece of cardboard or cookie sheet or use copy paper box lids.

    This link has picture of a few finished products. http://www.childcareexchange.com/library/5017532.pdf Good luck.

    View the original thread this idea was posted on



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