What kid wouldn’t want to play with candy? Our gumdrop bridge STEM challenge is perfect for using up those sweets that you might have hanging around the house. Or it simply makes a fun afternoon activity to keep everyone busy. Add a challenge and have your kids try out their gumdrop bridge building skills! We love fun and easy STEM activities for kids.


Gumdrop Bridge Building STEM candy structures activity


A gumdrop toothpick bridge is a perfect STEM {science, technology, engineering, and math} activity for kids! We have been trying out more and more STEM building projects this season. STEM activities incorporate so many learning possibilities for math and science as well as creativity and fine motor skills.

Check out more fun STEM activities with gumdrops. Try dissolving gumdrops and melting gumdrops.

Gumdrop bridge building STEM engineering activity iPad set up

Gumdrop Bridge Building Set-Up

Very simple set up! All you need are two materials; gumdrops and toothpicks for this bridge building activity. We chose gumdrops but the possibilities are endless {marshmallows, apple pieces, cheese, styrofoam, play dough, etc!}

We added an technology component as we watched a Magic School Bus episode about construction and bridge building on the ipad. My son often needs to see a concept in practice order to understand the idea better.

Supplies Needed:

  • gumdrops
  • toothpicks
  • Lego minifigures {optional for crossing bridge)
  • containers {optional for providing challenges to rescue lego men}
  • video of bridge building {optional}

The Gumdrop Bridge Challenge

We checked out our special bridge building Magic School Bus episode first. Then I paused it on the construction of the suspension bridge and we talked about the shapes we saw, how many gumdrops and toothpicks we would need, and how bridges work.

Note: Before we began the bridge building activity, he chose to explore the gumdrops and toothpicks on his own and made some shapes {see square above left}. I am so pleased he chose this idea on his own. make sure you are flexible too with how the activity goes. 

Set out a number of toothpicks and gumdrops, and let kids have a go at working out what makes a great bridge design.  Make sure to test the stability of your bridge too.

Gumdrop bridge building suspension bridge engineering iPad model lego men


I suggested we help the LEGO men get across the bridge and we also added Popsicle sticks to all our bridge building activities. He also wanted a rescue mission for the LEGO man, so we worked on building bridges and ladders to rescue them.

Although our activity had quite a bit of structure, the bridge building activities took on their own shapes! We were able to add in a bit of creativity too!

gumdrop bridge building ladder making lego man activity


Once we had completed the rescue missions, I suggested we build whatever with the remaining gumdrops and toothpicks! He chose another bridge building activity but want to make a tall bridge.

I think 4 levels are pretty good! I helped too and added stabilizers while showing him how they worked.

ALSO CHECK OUT: Best Building Activities For Kids

gumdrop bridge building engineering activity toothpicks gumdrop building

 We even enjoyed a small taste test. Apparently the large ones aren’t very tasty! This is a great holiday candy activity too! He was quite pleased with his gumdrop bridge building projects.See what you can build today!

Looking for easy to print activities, and inexpensive problem-based challenges? 

We have you covered…



Straw Boats Challenge – Design a boat made from nothing but straws and tape, and see how many items it can hold before it sinks.

Strong Spaghetti – Get out the pasta and test our your spaghetti bridge designs. Which one will hold the most weight?

Paper Bridges – Similar to our strong spaghettti challenge. Design a paper bridge with folded paper. Which one will hold the most coins?

Paper Chain STEM Challenge – One of the simplest STEM challenges ever!

Egg Drop Challenge – Create your own designs to protect your egg from breaking when it is dropped from a height. 

Strong Paper – Experiment with folding paper in different ways to test its strength, and learn about what shapes make the strongest structures.

Marshmallow Toothpick Tower – Build the tallest tower using only marshmallows and toothpicks.

Penny Boat Challenge – Design a simple tin foil boat, and see how many pennies it can hold before it sinks.

Spaghetti Marshmallow Tower – Build the tallest spaghetti tower that can hold the weight of a jumbo marshmallow.

Cup Tower Challenge – Make the tallest tower you can with 100 paper cups.

Paper Clip Challenge – Grab a bunch of paper clips and make a chain. Are paper clips strong enough to hold weight?


Click on the image below or on the link for more awesome STEM projects for kids.

STEM projects for kids and STEM ideas to keep kids busy all year! Free printable STEM activities pack.


  1. Great tasty fun! We’ve made our bridge with marshmallows but it came down. Gum drops seem a little more sturdy so I am now going to try it wit the gumdrops instead.

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