Sugar Cube Pyramid

We’ve been studying Egypt in geography for the past couple of weeks and one of the activities we did was to build a pyramid out of sugar cubes. This was a lot of fun, and pretty simple, but did take some time.

I took the above photo before I actually tried to glue the sugar cubes together.  Elmer’s glue does not work. We ended up using my hot glue gun.  I put the glue on the cubes and Anna put them in place. It would have been nice to have her do the whole thing herself but I’m not quite ready to let her loose with my hot glue gun yet…

We started off with a 9×9 base..because after calculating out how many cubes we’d need if we started with a 10×10, we were about 8 cubes short.  Oh well. Though after getting started and realizing how much time it was going to take, I was glad we didn’t start with a 10×10 square.

Here we are after finishing the base:

One nice thing about the hot glue gun is that it dries super fast, so there was no waiting around for the glue to dry before being able to pick it up.

Working on the second layer:

A little less than halfway done:

She had to pick it up and hold it after we completed each level to see how much heavier it was getting.  By the end it was fairly heavy to pick up.

Here’s the finished product:

I think it turned out pretty neat! She enjoyed marching little lego people up and down the pyramid after we were done.

I also used our building time to work on some pre-multiplication by having her tell me how we can figure out how many cubes were on each level. We had already talked about the bottom layer having 9 rows of 9 cubes, but I was a little surprised when she didn’t really have to think about it and told me that we’d have to add 9+9+9…nine times. After she added that up in her head while I kept track of the 9’s, she came up with 81.  I then told her that 9+9+9+9+9+9+9+9+9 is the same as saying 9×9.  So just a little early multiplication introduction for her.  She totaled the 9×9 and 8×8 layers, but I’m also going to have her total each of the other layers and then add them all together to see how many cubes total we had to use to build the pyramid.

So it wasn’t just an art or history lesson, but a math lesson as well!  I love being able to incorporate multiple subjects into one activity.

2 thoughts on “Sugar Cube Pyramid

  1. I am curious about what you taught on Egypt? We are doing little passports and I am looking for ways to teach pyramids and Egypt history to kindergarten-grade 2 for a home school co-op. I am not finding much for kids on the web so thought I might ask you since it seems like your little girl is about that age! Thanks, Julie

    • We made the pyramid out of sugar cubes, watched a little documentary on Egypt that I found on Netflix. She read “Mummies in the Morning” (Magic Tree House book #3) and we read the “Mummies and Pyramids” Fact Tracker that went along with it. We also use the Expedition Earth curriculum: and did the activities in there that went along with Egypt. It’s been awhile since we did it so I may be forgetting some things.

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