Simple & Fun: Cranberry Structures

Don’t leave out Thanksgiving when you think of STEM challenges! We have a super fun and easy Thanksgiving STEM challenge for you. Building cranberry structures! Before you turn a bag of cranberries into cranberry sauce make sure to test out your engineering skills first. Cranberry structures make a perfect Thanksgiving science activity.


This is the time of year for cranberries! Grab a bag of them along with a box of toothpicks and see what kind of cranberry structures you can build!

Make cranberry sauce when you are finished and you won’t have any waste!


  • Bag of Fresh Cranberries
  • Toothpicks
  • Flat Surface


  • Building houses…
  • Building shapes…
  • Making towers…
  • Making people…
  • Building Letters and numbers…
  • or have your students copy what you make if they need encouragement!

Toothpicks and small cranberries encourage visual and fine motor skills for students as well as motor planning. Finger dexterity and patience are a plus when building cranberry structures!

cranberry structures

Problem-solving, counting, and designing are all a part of building structures!

Engineering activities like these are so much fun and use simple materials. You can use gumdrops too. Don’t want to use food? You can always use playdough, styrofoam balls, or pool noodle pieces.

Share your Cranberry Structures!

Share your projects with us at mcsa@edupix.org so we can share it with everyone!

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