How to Make a Styrofoam Pyramid

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Model building is a great hands-on way for kids to learn about the world they live in. This styrofoam pyramid project has been a classic for decades because it gives school-aged kids the opportunity to design one of the great wonders of the world.

This activity is very straight forward but does require some adult supervision, as well as some patience. So set aside a little time and get ready to create something truly fantastic with your child.

Make a pyramid model using styrofoam
(Stephanie Morgan)

Things You'll Need

  • 36 inches by 12 inches piece of styrofoam
  • Styrofoam glue
  • Styrofoam cutting tool
  • Gold paint
  • Paint brush
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Play sand (optional)
Step 1:

Along with a 36 by 12 piece of styrofoam, gold paint, and a ruler, you'll also need a styrofoam cutting tool and styrofoam glue (both of which can be found at craft stores) for this project. Please see the last slide for an itemized list of tools and materials.

You'll need styrofoam, paint, a ruler and a few specialty tools.
Stephanie Morgan
Step 2:

Use your ruler to trace out 9 squares and 3 rectangles onto the styrofoam, using this photo as a guide for placement. When done, you should have squares that measure 1 inch by 1 inch, 2 by 2, 3 by 3, 4 by 4, 5 by 5, 7 by 7, 8 by 8, 9 by 9, 10 by 10, as well as three rectangles that each measure 2 by 6.

Divide your styrofoam into sections to make 10 progressively larger squares.
Stephanie Morgan
Step 3:

Use a sawing motion with the styrofoam cutting tool to evenly cut out each square and rectangle. Because this tool is sharp, this step requires adult supervision.

Saw back and forth to cut out each shape.
Stephanie Morgan
Step 4:

Squeeze a small amount of styrofoam glue onto each corner and the center of the 10 by 10 square. Center the 9 by 9 square on top of it and push down.

Apply styrofoam glue to the top of the 9 by 9 square, center the 8 by 8 square on top and push down. Continue doing this with progressively smaller squares until the pyramid is complete. Note: to create the 6 by 6 section, glue the three 2 by 6 rectangles side by side.

Use styrofoam glue to stack your squares into a pyramid.
Stephanie Morgan
Step 5:

Use a blotting motion with the paint brush to apply gold paint over the entire pyramid.

Paint your pyramid with gold paint.
Stephanie Morgan
Step 6:

Sprinkle play sand over the pyramid for added dimension and realism.

Use play sand to add dimension to your pyramid.
Stephanie Morgan

Tips & Warnings

  • Styrofoam is very absorbent so you'll need to use a lot of paint to completely cover it.
  • To transport your pyramid, glue it to an additional piece of styrofoam, or white poster board, painted with the gold paint.
  • The foam cutting tool should be used with adult supervision.

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