Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Winter Cupcakes: Polar Regions and Physics Explorations with Marshmallow Fondant

Marshmallow Play Dough to Explore Polar Regions Habitats and Changes of Physical Properties of the Mixture

How very sweet! We practiced mixing and measuring, and explored the physical properties of the mixture and the effects of heating solids. The three batches of fondant (plain, blue, and chocolate) were just what kids needed to create endless Polar Regions Small Worlds. These cupcakes were decorated by two playful teenagers and one puzzled toddler.


Polar Regions Habitats Cupcakes

For this activity we needed:
  • cupcakes
  • homemade marshmallow fondant (plain, chocolate, and blue)
  • white and blue icing
  • candies of choice for adding small details
  • play dough tools
  • goldfish crackers


Kids started by rolling snowballs and learning how to make an easy penguin. We have an easy play dough penguin tutorial here: Easy Dancing Penguin.

They reviewed their knowledge of polar regions habitats and got fun creating playful scenes. Fun and safety are all that is needed for a successful project with kids in the kitchen!



Physics Explorations and Practicing Math with Marshmallow Fondant

Marshmallow play dough can be used right after it is done, or stored in the refrigerator tightly wrapped in plastic. For our polar regions habitats cupcakes we made three batches of play dough: play, colored blue, and chocolate.

We only needed small quantities for our play. These took little time and mixing by hand - easy!

To make marshmallow fondant, we used:
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1-2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • blue food coloring
  • chocolate chips


Jungle Crew Lab set is our new favorite for the activities like this! For our Math practice today, we had to measure 1 cup of marshmallows, 2 tbs. of water, and 2 cups of sugar.

Amazon affiliate link: EDUCATIONAL INSIGHTS GEOSAFARI JR. JUNGLE CREW LAB SET


  • We put marshmallows into the bow, added water.
  • To melt marshmallows, microwave for 1-2 min, stop every 30 sec to mix.
  • Add confectioners sugar into the melted goo - a little at a time - and mix.
  • Place the dough on the greased working surface to continue needing by hand adding sugar as needed to the nice play dough consistency.
  • If too little sugar: the dough will be sticky, if too much sugar: the dough will be too hard to work with. We didn't use the full 2 cups of sugar for each batch.
  • To make blue dough, add several drops of blue gel food coloring to the melted marshmallows before adding sugar.
  • To make chocolate dough, add chocolate chips to marshmallows before putting into the microwave.


This marshmallow dough is ready for use immediately. Or seal it tightly in plastic and leave in the refrigerator for later. Heat it in the microwave for 10 sec. You might find it better to work with the next day.


Kids added some fun details to their creatures using pieces of candy at hand. These cupcakes are long gone, but the pictures make me smile and bring back memories :)


Happy cooking with your kids! Which projects have you done recently?

More Problem Solving and Building Ideas from My Bright Firefly

Coral Reef Cupcakes

Love Cookies

Have a Happy Marmalade Day!

(Click on the picture below to enlarge it)