If you are looking for an entertaining and educational project for you and your child to work on, consider building a Popsicle stick bridge. You can create the model on a low budget, and it's also an engaging way to teach you child about architecture and the brainpower that goes into creating sturdy bridges and buildings. With a bundle of Popsicle sticks and a low-temp glue gun, you and your child can put your heads together to build your very own model-bridge.
Place five sticks on a flat surface. Line them up end-to-end so they lay flat and form a long straight line. Glue four sticks flat on top of the first five, for reinforcement, centring each stick over the "gap" where one stick ends and another begins. This will serve as a bottom rail of the bridge. Make a second bottom rail in the same fashion.
Place four sticks in a flat, straight line and reinforce them by gluing three sticks in the same way as in Step 1, placing one on top of each "gap" where one stick ends and another begins. This will serve as a top rail of the bridge. Make a second top rail in the same fashion.
Place three sticks to form an equilateral triangle. Glue the corners of the triangle to keep it in place. Make eight triangles in the same way.
Place four triangles in a row with the base of the triangles lined up flush with the five-stick side of one of the bottom rails. The four triangles should be centred on the rail so there are equal lengths of rail left at each end. Glue the triangles to the rail.
Glue the tops of the triangles to the four-stick side of one of the top rails, ensuring that the triangles are centred on the rail so there are equal lengths of rail left at each end. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 with the remaining triangles and rails.
Stand the two sides of the bridge up so they are parallel with the bottom rails on the bottom. One of the sides should have the triangles facing the outside of the bridge and one should have the triangles facing the inside.
Glue sticks straight across the top of the bridge at 2- to 3-inch intervals. You will have about seven parallel sticks connecting each side of the top of the bridge. Glue sticks straight across the top of the bottom of the bridge in the same way. You will have about eight parallel sticks connecting each side of the bottom of the bridge.
Cut a strip of cardboard just large enough to be placed over the bottom of the bridge to form a roadway for toy cars. Glue the cardboard in place if you desire.
Things you need
- 100 Popsicle sticks
- Low-temperature glue gun