≡ Menu
≡ Categories

Patriotic Dinner Party STEM Challenge for Kids using Toothpicks

Patriotic Dinner Party STEM Challenge for Kids using Toothpicks post image

As 4th of July approaching, many families are planning BBQ parties at home in the backyard. What can kids do at a picnic party or a dinner party? I always like the ideas of simple activities that kids can learn while having fun. It is a plus if there is no prep work needed. Building with toothpick meets all these criteria and is one of my favorite. You can easily adapt it to different themes. For 4th of July you can have patriotic theme of building the Tallest Flagpole. For Christmas, it can be the tallest Christmas Tree.

Minute to Win It STEM Challenge: Build the Tallest Flagpole

Today I share the activity that themed for 4th of July, a Red White Blue dinner party or BBQ picnic party.
Minute to Win It Game STEM Challenge at Dinner Parties with a 4th of July theme. Easy 4th of July party activities for kids and adults with no prep needed. Printable game rules and score recording sheets.

Materials Needed for the Tallest Flagpole STEM Challenge

1. Toothpicks: this is easy to get at a dinner party or at home. To go with the Red White Blue theme, you want to use some colored toothpicks. We did not have colored ones, so I colored them myself using markers (this is a pack with all 3 colors of red white blue).

2. Play dough: to match the 4th of July theme, ideally you also want to have red, white and blue playdoh. If you don’t have play dough, you can make your own with any kind of flour and food color. As you can tell from the pictures, we made our own dough with all purpose flour, and for some, we did not use food color. However, I highly recommend making them the theme color, even if it is all red or blue.

3. Ruler: to measure the height of the flagpoles

4. Thread and straws if necessary to help measuring the height. Please see judging guide below for ideas.

5. Recording Sheet: to keep track of all players’ names and their flagpoles height. To make it easier for you, I created the score recording sheet. You can find it in iGameMom STEM Store. In the package, you will have game rules and winner badges, in addition to the score recording sheet. All you need is print them out.

Download the game package: Minute to Win It: Build the Tallest Flag Pole

Also on TpT (works for VAT countries) Minute to Win It: Build the Tallest Flag Pole

Flagpole STEM Challenge Rules

1. Each player has the same number of toothpicks. 15 is a good number for us. If you have mostly younger children, 10 will be enough.

2. For each joint, each player can only use play dough with the size not to be bigger than the width of a child’s pinky. You can also make a sample of a play dough ball as the standard. This is to make sure the flagpole will stand based on the designed structure, instead of simply completely being glued together by the play dough.

3. Each player builds 3 flagpoles, and the player with the biggest average height of the 3 is the winner. The 3 designs must be different structures.

4. Each struture must be stable enough to stay unchanged for at least 10 minutes before being measured.

RELATED: 4th Of July Bingo Game Cards

Flagpole STEM Challenge Judge Guide

When measuring the height, you want to make sure to not touch the structure. When it is hard to measure with a ruler, I suggest tie a string on a straw or anything that can reach out like the picture below. Of course you want to stretch the thread to make sure it is straight. Mark the length of the thread at the bottom of the structure and at the top of the structure, and then measure the thread with a ruler.

Make sure to wait till the structure stay still, not changing shapes, for at least 10 minutes before measuring the height.

RELATED: 160+ Free 4th of July Math Worksheets for Kids

Minute to Win It Game STEM Challenge at Dinner Parties with a 4th of July patriotic theme. Easy 4th of July party activities for kids and adults with no prep needed. Printable game rules and score recording sheets.

Additional Ideas for the Minite to Win It Challenge

You can have some twists for the challenges. For example, you can set time limit instead of limiting the number of toothpicks, and see who can build the tallest flagpole within a certain time, say a minute.

I have more extension ideas in the downloadable package. To download the STEM Challenge package, follow the link below.

Download the game package: Minute to Win It: Build the Tallest Flag Pole

Also on TpT (works for VAT countries) Minute to Win It: Build the Tallest Flag Pole

Do you have any suggestions on a family dinner party STEM challenge?

For more Minitue to Win It STEM Challenge Ideas, please visit STEM Challenge: 9 Minute To Win It Games for Kids
STEM Challenge Minute to Win It Game
You may also like STEM Challenge: Build Da Vinci Bridge with Pencil and STEM Challenge: Egg Drop Project Design with Straws
Da Vinci Bridge with Pencil STEM Challenge
Egg drop project science design experiment with straw


Build the tallest flag pole, patriotic STEM challenge party game for 4th of July dinner party. Easy Minute to Win It Game for kids and adults, no prep needed. Printable game rules and score recording sheets.

{ 1 comment… add one }

Leave a Comment