Sugar Cube Sculpture

We made sugar cube sculptures. What a fun and surprising lesson in building, painting, and dissolving!

Materials

  • Box of sugar cubes
  • Glue bottle
  • Sturdy base to glue onto
  • Paint in squeezy bottles

Boxes of sugar cubers were harder to find than I thought, but I ultimately found them at our big supermarket (and bought 2!). We used scrap wood for the base, basic Elmer’s school glue, and Nancy Bottles for the paint.

I suggested that we could build a sculpture with the sugar cubes, and presented N with the materials. That’s all she needed to hear before she began to glue the cubes onto the panel.

And stack them up tall.

You can see that this isn’t the strongest structure in the world!! I filled some Nancy Bottles with watered down BioColor paint, which my daughter then squeezed all over the sculpture. Because the water acted as a dissolving agent, if I were to do this again I’d use straight-up paint without the additional water.

It’s looking a little patriotic, no?

And it end up in this beautiful heap of swirly, melting color. Not exactly what I imagined when we started, but it did lead to some wonderful conversations about dissolving. We only used about 1/10 of the sugar cubes to make the sculpture, so why not set up a dissolving experiment with the rest of the cubes?!

The next day N turned the remaining cubes into sugar water in under five minutes. It was quick, but what a great lesson and experience!

What are you or your kids building with?

This post is linked to It’s Playtime, Childhood 101

Comments

    • rachelle says

      We are on the same page!! I love that you used food coloring, keeping the sugar entirely edible (although using paint kept my daughter from eating the sculpture. hee hee). Thanks for sharing the link — I just love all your projects and imagine that your art space must feel a lot like mine. :)

  1. says

    You might try using toothpicks as a support structure. I would suggest the grown-up “pre-drill” the holes in the cubes and then let the kids stack away.

    • rachelle says

      Thanks for the suggestion, Julie. It’s a cool idea, but I’m not sure how I’d drill holes in the sugar cubes? Any tips?

  2. says

    I don’t know why I have never worked with sugar cubes! I think it’s time. ps. I like the new header very much=)

    • rachelle says

      Thanks for the feedback, Jill :) Sugar cubes are inexpensive and fun to work with (not to mention tasty!).

    • rachelle says

      Ha!! N had to eat one, too. She wanted more, but I reminded her of a recent sugar induced melt-down, and she stuck to sculpting with the sugar.

  3. says

    Super cute! What a lot of great ideas you have here – I’m going to have to try many of these with my boys. I don’t know if I can find sugar cubes here (I live in Costa Rica), but if so I will definitely do this!