Making Cubes with Clay and Straws

Making cubes with fast drying clay and drinking straws. GradeONEderful.com

Geometry in first grade is a hands-on affair. And today it was a little muckier than usual because we made cubes using clay and straws.


Here's how we did it:

Making cubes with fast drying clay and drinking straws. GradeONEderful.com


Everyone needed 12 straws. At first I didn't measure the straws, I just cut them while eyeballing it. But we quickly noticed that the cubes weren't very "cube-ish" when I did it that way, so ...

Making cubes with fast drying clay and drinking straws. GradeONEderful.com

I used a sharpie to mark off 5, 10, and 15 cm on the straw. I only had to mark one straw and then I could hold four straws together and cut them all at once.

Making cubes with fast drying clay and drinking straws. GradeONEderful.com

I gave the kids some air-drying clay and they went to work rolling out 8 little balls.

Making cubes with fast drying clay and drinking straws. GradeONEderful.com

It worked out best if they built the base first.

Making cubes with fast drying clay and drinking straws. GradeONEderful.com

And then added the sides.

Making cubes with fast drying clay and drinking straws. GradeONEderful.com

The top was the trickiest but most kids managed just fine.

Making cubes with fast drying clay and drinking straws. GradeONEderful.com

Making cubes with fast drying clay and drinking straws. GradeONEderful.com

In past years we've made cubes with toothpicks and marshmallows, but this worked WAY better. It was just much sturdier to work with and once the clay hardens it's easy for the kids to take them home in one piece.

UPDATE: Okay, I lied! Not on purpose of course! But it turns out that lots of the kids had difficulties getting their cubes home without breaking them. Sigh :(    They seemed sturdy to me ... but not so much for 6 and 7-year-olds.  SOO...next time I'll use plasticene.  Or even better, I'll try toothpicks and gumdrops like Lori suggested. Ah well ... live and learn.



6 comments

  1. Kids love to create! I like these cubes. I've also seen them made with toothpicks and gumdrop candies.

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    Replies
    1. Gumdrop candies is a fun idea! I'll try that next time :)

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  2. I really liked the non-food idea. :( that it did not transport well. But then, marshmallow or gum drop creations would not make it home with my kids either.

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    Replies
    1. I think they're hard to transport no matter what:)

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  3. I've always used toothpicks and marshmallows. Kids are just hard on stuff, huh? (Some more than others.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed:) If they don't break 'em, they eat 'em!

      Delete

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