Do you know anyone who loves unicorns? Connect their passion with building science skills by setting up a unicorn STEM challenge. Can you help the unicorn get to the other side? This one is super easy to set up and will keep your kids interested for quite a while. It’s also really simple to create different variations depending upon the supplies you use. I get commissions for purchases made through the affiliate links in this post.
Unicorn STEM Challenge: Build a Bridge
I first shared this challenge on Instagram. Are you following me there? I often set up little activities like this for the kids, but they don’t always make it to the blog. Also be sure to check out my Instagram stories for even more behind the scenes fun.
- A unicorn (We used the unicorn from the Good Luck Minis Fantasy Pack sent to us from Safari Ltd. We also have the Fairy Tale Animals TOOB that has a slightly bigger unicorn. It is MIA at the moment or I would have used that in the challenge, too.)
- Colorful craft sticks (ours were sent to us by CraftProjectIdeas.com)
- Tape (We used glittery washi tape. Masking tape or painter’s tape would also work well.)
- LEGO or DUPLO bricks to build the towers
How to Set Up the Unicorn STEM Challenge
First you will need to build two towers using LEGO or DUPLO bricks. I grabbed a bunch of DUPLO bricks and built two towers of a random height. The height isn’t really important. You just want enough to get the kids interested in the challenge. I placed the towers at a distance I thought looked challenging enough for a unicorn to cross. (How far can a unicorn jump?) I added a blue DUPLO plate to the ground to represent water.
Second you will need bridge building supplies. My first ideas was to use craft sticks and yarn. I couldn’t quickly find any yarn upstairs and I didn’t want to hunt for it in the basement. I spotted some washi tape and knew that would work perfectly (although it would make the challenge a bit easier).
I set the supplies next to the towers and posed the challenge to my kids: Can you help the unicorn get to the other side using craft sticks, tape, and scissors?
Aiden (age 8) grabbed a craft stick and tried to place it between the two towers. It was too short. (I intentionally made the distance between the towers longer than the length of a craft stick.) Next he pulled out a long piece of tape and place that between the two towers. Challenge completed? I told him he had to use all 3 supplies given, so that wouldn’t work. I took the tape off and cut it in half. Then, I gave him two more short pieces of tape and said that was all of the tape he could use. (You might want to limit the amount of tape up front as well.)
Aiden thoughtfully taped two craft sticks together and placed them between the towers. He repeated this and had a platform for a bridge.
He and Lily organized the craft sticks into a rainbow pattern. Their tape wasn’t long enough to connect all of the craft sticks together so they had to cut it in half lengthwise. (This effectively doubled the amount of tape.) After taping the craft sticks together, they placed them on top of the other craft sticks to form a bridge between the towers. Aiden added a few more pieces of tape to secure the bridge to each tower.
The unicorn could now safely cross the bridge. Now it’s also a set up for pretend play. Add some friends to join the unicorn.
Modifications to Try:
What other materials could you use? Raid your recycling bin and try cardboard tubes, cereal boxes, or paper. Do you have straws, paper clips, or pipe cleaners? Instead of LEGO, what would work for the towers? What other suggestions do you have? Let me know in the comments or share a picture with us on Facebook!
More Unicorn STEM Activities for Kids
- Unicorn Cartesian Diver – Add a unicorn to this classic science experiment that explores density, buoyancy and gas laws.
- Make a Zipline for a Unicorn – Can you make a zipline using string, straws, tape, and scissors.
- Check out this collection of unicorn activities from Schooling a Monkey that includes a lot of STEM ideas.
- Bonus: Find the Unicorn Rainbow Sensory Bin – Can you find the unicorn hidden among the rainbow pom poms?
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