Pumpkin Tower STEAM Challenge for Kids

By: Tina Shaffer

If you’re always on the search for STEAM activities for your children or students, you may have come across quite a few marshmallow and toothpick challenges, which are loads of fun.

STEAM activities are a great way to engage little inquiring minds and help to teach kids the basics of project planning, creative problem-solving, and improving on ideas—skills that help us succeed in all aspects of our life. And when we add a theme to the activity, it can encourage a love for learning in a fun and meaningful way.

Check out this Halloween-inspired STEAM activity and challenge your kids to build the TALLEST tower they can out of pumpkin candies and toothpicks. Note: Gummy pumpkin candies (as opposed to the hard pumpkin candies) are the easiest to work with for this activity. However, you can increase the difficulty of the challenge by using hard pumpkin candies.

CHALLENGE: Using only candy pumpkins and toothpicks, build the tallest freestanding tower possible that can hold a small pumpkin.

MATERIALS: 1 bag of candy pumpkins, toothpicks, 1 miniature pumpkin (real or decorative)

TIME: 15 minutes


A. 5 points if your structure successfully holds the small pumpkin for at least 10 seconds
B. 5 points if your structure is 8-12 inches in height; 10 points if your structure is 13-17 inches in height; 15 points if your structure is 18 or more inches in height
C. Up to 20 points for the creativity of your solution
D. Up to 20 points for how well your group works together


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