Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

TPiB: Marshmallow Madness

Although Marshmallow Madness by Shauna Sever mostly involves various recipes for cooking your own marshmallows, I couldn’t help but think of all the fun programming you can do around the theme of marshmallows.  One of the most popular programs I ever hosted involved putting a buffet of various sweet food items in front of a group of teens and putting them to the task of creating a desert concoction ala Iron Chef.  Food programming can be the most fun, and can have the biggest draw.  Of course some libraries are having demonstration kitchens built in as they embrace the Makerspace idea, and I am only a teeny bit jealous.  So here is a way to have some “Marshamallow Madness” fun with tweens, teens, and families . . . .
Marhsmallow Shooters
Instructables has a step-by-step outline of how you can make your own Marshmallow Shooters.  It involves cutting PVC pipe – or finding an alternative – so you would have to pre-cut some of the pieces.  However, Spoonful has ideas for making a marshmallow catapult, which would be a great upcycled craft for Earth Day. There is another version at Rainy Day DIY.

Marshmallow Fling
There are instructions for a game called Marshmallow Fling available at PBS.  It basically involves flinging marshmallows into a designated space – say a cup or paper bag – using a plastic spoon.  There are more marshmallow games available at 33 minutes, a youth ministry site (youth ministry sites are actually a really good place to find games).

Marshmallow Designs
Using a variety of marshmallows in different sizes and colors and some toothpicks, you can have tweens create marshmallow creations of all types.  For example, here are some marshmallow animals that appeared in McCall’s Magazine in the 1970s (I found the picture at Candyprofessor.com: Things To Do with Marshmallows and they state it is from The Happy Apple via Flickr).  You wouldn’t have to do just animals, however, as you could get into some engineering and ask your participants to build larger structures or create whole scenes.

Source: Best Friends for Frosting

You can also use edible markers – yes, these things exist – and color marshmallows to make creations.  Put your marshmallow on a skewer to make designing and coloring easy to manage.  And to avoid smudges.

You can also decorate marshmallows using some royal icing as “glue” and various small candy, like Red Hots and such.  It’s the marshmallow version of the Gingerbread House.  You can have a type of Iron Chef program using marshmallows as your secret ingredient as we discussed these food based programs earlierBest Friends for Frosting shows how you can use frosting, sprinkles and more to create fun marshmallow pops – which coincidentally will also work for an On a Stick program or Sprinkles program (which we will talk about in the next few days).  They also tell you how you can make these fun Snowmen pops, which, you know, this is a good time of year for.

Doctor Who fans are familiar with Adipose, little creatures that look like cute little marshmallows.  Because they look like marshmallows, they are easy to make out of marshmallows.  Funny how that works out that way.  Cookfiction has instructions for you.

Peeps Dioramas
Perhaps no marshmallow is more famous than Peeps.  Well, maybe the Stay Puft Marshmallow from Ghostbusters (“Who you gonna call?”).  Libraries near and far have had great success hosting Peeps Diorama programs. Pink and Green Mama created this amazing Goodnight Moon inspired Peeps diorama. I heartily recommend seeing what your tweens and teens can create.

From Pink and Green Mama

The Tween went through this book and her 5 favorite recipes include:
1) Kool-Aid Marshmallows (page 66)
2) Root-Beer Float Marshmallows (page 69)
3) Bubble Gum Marshmallows (page 70)
4) birthday Cake Marshmallows (page 72)
5) Mallow Cones (page 74)

As part of Quirk Books Week, Quirk Books has generously donated a prize package for one lucky winner that will include 2 of the above cookbooks, a copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, the first book of the Lovecraft Middle School series, and a copy of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. I’ve tried to give you as many ways as possible to enter so pick the one (or ones) that work best for you and do the Rafflecopter thingy below.  The giveaway closes on Saturday, December 14th and is open to U.S. Residents.  The books will be sent to you from Quirk Books and they are worth it.


  1. Meghan Burnell says

    What a great give away!!! So many good books to enjoy with the family!!

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