Sweets, Cocktail Sticks and 3D Shapes

30 Oct

Another idea for shape and space; using small jelly sweets (midget gems in the UK), cocktail sticks and almost any 3D shape can be built! Leave them for a few days and the sweets go hard.

This simple activity has a number of uses across the key stages. You can investigate the basics, such as the properties of 3D shapes (number of edges, vertices and faces), to using Pythagoras and trigonometry in 3D shapes. By constructing the 3D shapes and labeling the vertices, by writing on the sweets, pupils find it easier to extract the correct right-angled triangle which they need in order to complete the Pythagoras or trigonometry calculation.

In addition to basic shape described above they can be used to identify planes of symmetry, the shape of cross sections when calculating volumes. Or even building up 3D coordinates.

If you try it or like this idea please comment, I would love to hear how it goes! Get in touch @numberloving

One Response to “Sweets, Cocktail Sticks and 3D Shapes”


  1. 3-D Shapes in more than 3-ways | Number Loving - November 3, 2015

    […] Using toothpicks or wooden skewers as edges and midget gems or marshmallows as vertices most 3D shapes can be built.  These make great 3D shapes for display but also useful for when exploring trigonometry and Pythagoras’ Theorem in 3D.  Midget gems will go hard and therefore will withstand the test of time on the classroom windowsill. Check out our blog post ‘Sweets, cocktails sticks and 3D shapes’ here. […]


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