Marshmallow Challenge in the Kindergarten

I few month back I saw the TED talk of Tom Wujec about the Marshmallow Challenge. What fascinated me the most was the fact that according to Tom recent graduates of the kindergarten are building higher structures than the average adult. One of my credos is: “Never believe a statistic that you didn’t fake on your own”. So I phoned the head of our local kindergarten to ask if I could do the Marshmallow Challenge with the so called “Maxi-Kids”. These are the pre-schoolers of the kindergarten in the age of 5 years. And today morning I went there. What can I say, it was fun! I didn’t even have the time to explain everything in detail to them they just got started :) The results were quite amazing.

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6 thoughts on “Marshmallow Challenge in the Kindergarten”

  1. I always wonder, if it is with the rules to tape stuff to the table. Your kids all did that and many of the adult teams I’ve seen did it, too.

    Anyway, those kids did amazing sculptures. Each looks really chaotic!

    1. From my point of view there is no rule against taping the structure to the table. I also saw it a lot of times in the past. Even on the pictures on Tom Wujec’s marshmallow challenge page you can find those structures. IMHO this doesn’t affect the learn effect.

  2. Great. I think I’ll try this at our Kindergarten too :)

    Taping to the table: the question is the definition of free standing. But as long it is only taped to the “floor” the effect does not really change the game and provides some new possibilities. That’s why I allow taping to the table.

  3. I love to read posts like this. I also saw a TED talk (or maybe it was another video podcast) where the topic was a marshmallow challenge. In this case, however, they had the Kindergarten class compete against a group of adults who were about to graduate from an MBA program. The result? Every kid had something built when the timer rang. Not a single adult created a structure. Why you ask? Upon doing some intense upfront planning, they calculated their odds of winning were too low so they didn’t even “waste” their time. They didn’t even prototype. They didn’t even try. The kids figured something was better than nothing.

    1. I did a Scrum training a week later with two teams. Even without telling them about the kinderkarten class none of the teams had a standing structure. After the challenge I showed them the structures of the kindergarten kids. The suprised faces were priceless 😉

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