I’ve mentioned in a few articles recently that as my kids are getting older I enjoy finding ways to set up creative challenges and play invitations after school. They are a nice way for us to sit together and chat while they unwind from a busy school day.
I find that the more open-ended they are the better, and I also like to choose options that are very quick and easy to set up. This styrofoam STEAM building activity fits both of those requirements. Use it for as an after school activity or set it up in a maker space during the school day.
Styrofoam STEAM Building
- Styrofoam pieces-I was able to find craft discs and assorted sizes of spheres at Dollar Tree.
- Low temp hot glue gun-I’d buy this cordless one if I didn’t already have three.
- Tempera paint
- Paint brushes
Building with Styrofoam
There were no directions or rules for this activity. I simple left the materials out as an invitation to create. They were immediately intrigued when they arrived home from school.
They spent time placing the spheres and creating their own sculptures. As they did they tested how much glue they need to make it secure. As some pieces started to shift they realized they need to add more glue in certain areas to make their structures stronger.
After they were finished creating, it was time to decorate. We used tempera paint and the girls painted over a series of days. They took their time and painted a little bit here and there. Then they’d come back the next day to paint a little more.
If I worked in a school setting I think this would be an amazing collaborative project idea. I’d set it up in a maker space area and let kids add their own pieces here and there to create one large structure. Then we’d paint it. I bet it would look incredible once everyone had added their own unique touch to the creation.