Make a name marshmallow craft with your preschoolers this winter (or any time, really).
Related: Name Snowman Preschool Craft
I’m not the only teacher who sometimes ends up with stale items sometimes, right?
You know what I mean. When you’re cleaning out your classroom cabinets and you find an old bag of marshmallows that fell behind everything, way in the back?
No, it’s just me? Well, at least my shortcomings will help give you some ideas should you ever find yourself in this situation!
In the middle of a winter purge of my teaching cabinet, I found a broken partially-filled bag of marshmallows. I set the bag on the back counter to deal with after school. One of my students saw the bag from across the room and asked, “Hey, Miss Mary Catherine! Why do you have baby snowballs in a bag?!”
I have to admit, I just love that he called the mini marshmallows “baby snowballs”! That comment sparked the idea for these marshmallow names.
That, and the fact that I hate wasting anything and was trying to figure out how to use the old, stale marshmallows.
Name Marshmallow Craft for Preschool
Related: Painting with Marshmallows
Marshmallow Craft Materials
How to Prep the Marshmallow Names
First, cut the construction paper in half horizontally. Because I used 9″ x 12″ paper, I ended up with strips of paper that were 4.5″ by 12″.
This wasn’t long enough, so I ended up stapling pieces together. In hindsight, I realized I should have used the larger pieces of construction paper.
Once the paper strips are reader, write each child’s name using a white crayon. Make sure to write the letters large enough so that the marshmallow letters don’t overlap.
Related: The Mitten Printable Emergent Reader
Name Marshmallow Craft Directions
Once the name strips are prepped, it’s time to introduce the activity to the children.
Call the kids over and show them the name strips. Explain that they’re going to make their own “snowball” names using old mini marshmallows.
Since actual snowballs would melt, the mini marshmallows are a great stand-in. And they create a lot less puddles.
Inevitably, at this point at least one of those kids will ask if they can eat the marshmallows. Just accept that this will happen (and be sure to have a small stash of fresh mini marshmallows the kids can have a taste of). Reiterate that the marshmallows used for their names are old and wouldn’t taste all that good.
In small groups, call the children over to work on their marshmallow names. Have them trace over the first letter in their name and then add marshmallows over the glue.
Some of the children may need some help, and that’s okay! Squeezing the glue is a real hand workout for preschoolers. It’s a great way to strengthen those muscles.
Related: Printable Preschool Winter Words
Related: Symmetry Snowflake Craft
What Does this Marshmallow Craft Teach?
The marshmallow names were super duper easy, but so much learning was involved.
I am a huge fan of simple, but meaningful, learning activities! Below are just some of the early learning concepts the children explored with the name marshmallow craft.
The kids practiced left to right directionality. This is a great way for them to learn that we read and write from left to right.
A ton of name learning takes place here, too! The children see their names start with a capital letter, with the rest letters lowercase. They work on correct formation of each of the letters in their names. It’s very simple to mention where to start and where to go as they are gluing the marshmallows to the paper. The order of the letters in their names is also observed and practiced here.
Basic letter concepts can also be taught and explored with the marshmallow names. Chatting with the kids about the letters in their names can lead to some great conversations. “Gabriella, your name starts with a G. G says /g/ just like goose. I wonder what other words start with your letter?” Children love talking about things that are related to their names, and so much learning can be integrated here.
Once the marshmallow names are completed and all dried, they are a wonderful spark for comparing and contrasting. I spent quite a bit of time talking with the children about how many letters are in their names, who had the longest name, who had the shortest, etc.
Have you ever tried making marshmallow names with your students?
Winter Themed Teaching Resources for Preschool
Want to save time planning for preschool? Check out these preschool teaching resources from Preschool Teacher 101. Click on the photos below for more information on each item. Even better . . . take a look at our membership options for more ways to make your teaching life better.
- Preschool Winter Lesson Plans
- Snowman Preschool Lesson Plans
- Preschool Snowflake Lesson Plans
- Hot Cocoa Math Activities
- Arctic Lesson Plans
- The Mitten Lesson Plans
Originally published January 15, 2014