Toothpick Sculptures

We spend a lot of time in this house painting, drawing and working on 2D art works but I realised a few weeks ago that we rarely attempt 3D structures or sculptures. I'm not sure why - perhaps because I am a painter myself I automatically reach for the materials I am used to. Since this realisation I am challenging myself to provide more creative 3D activities for the children. Inspired by The Artful Parent I thought we could give toothpick sculptures a try. 

These toothpick sculptures are suitable for all ages, create minimal mess, are challenging to build and combine both art and engineering - perfect. 


Materials you will need:



Initially Bear was very interested in the toothpicks - a new material for him to enjoy. He experimented with pushing them into the plasticine in different ways. I showed him how to begin building a basic structure with triangles. Unfortunately he didn't feel too confident trying to build one of his own but he had lots of fun pushing toothpicks into my sculpture and rolling up the plasticine. 


Fig didn't really know what to do with the toothpicks, although she enjoyed exploring their box, tipping them up all over the floor and throwing them around. 


Here is our finished toothpick sculpture (or at least how it was looking when the children lost interest)


Here is a selection of other children's construction sculpture ideas to inspire.

Building edible structures with apples from Fun at Home With Kids

Colourful gumdrop sculptures from Tinkerlab.

Kids toothpick sculptures - a modern craft with Flash Bugs Studio

A brilliant idea for an extension to the sculptures - toothpick sculpture shadow tracing from The Artful Parent

A similar idea but with different materials - Building with sticks and playdough from FireFlies and Mudpies. 

Toothpick sculptures with meltable packaging peanuts from Babble Dabble Do. 

Building with toothpicks and orange peal with Buggy and Buddy. 

Open ended art with styrofoam, toothpicks and golf tees from Fun- a- Day. I love this creative idea. 

A great selection of engineering challenges from Frugal Fun 4 Boys.

Bright pool noodle sculptures with Play Based Learning.