We’ve finally begun our Road Trip USA curriculum this past week, and Delaware was one of our first stops. Aside from a trip to Joe’s Crab Shack for some crab legs, the Delaware memorial Bridge craft was one of our favorite activities!
The Delaware Memorial Bridge is the longest twin span suspension bridge in the world. It opened in 1951 and stretches 13,200 feet to connect Delaware and New Jersey. Due to the high traffic volume a nearly identical second span was completed in 1968 which parallels the original bridge making eight lanes of roadway. Over 80,000 cars drive over the bridge daily!
So of course we made our own model of the bridge.
Except out of popsicle sticks.
And ours was definitely a little shakier than the real thing. Not exactly worthy of driving on.
But still it was fun to build! And good thing I took pictures right away…it wasn’t quite the same after my Kindergartner got done “playing” with it.
Intrigued? Wanna make your own?
- Paper, pencil
- Popsicle sticks (We used the Woodsies building sticks, they have little ridges in them to make it easier)
- Thick pieces of cardboard for bridge roadway, and base
- White glue or hot glue
- Hacksaw or scissors to cut popsicle sticks (if you buy the Woodsies building sticks they actually snap apart with a simple bend)
- Clothes Pins
- Yarn or string
- Play-doh or clay
- Poster board (Preferably blue for water, or you can paint yours like we did.)
STEP 1: Draw rough profile view of your suspension bridge on paper to help you visualize what you will be making. You can also see the bridge here.
STEP 2: Cut 1.5 inch wide strips of thick cardboard for roadway length. Cut one longer piece for the base of your bridge. Since your bridges will vary in length, make sure your base is long enough to hold your bridge structure as well as supporting ties.
STEP 3: Create 2 identical ladders make to be 3 popsicle sticks high and several 1.75” strips for the sideways ladder rungs. Glue in place and let dry. (TIP: You may want to prepare these ahead of time)
STEP 4: Using play-doh to secure ladder pieces vertically, place 1 ladder in a large ball of play-doh and place on poster board about 6 inches apart depending on how long you want to make your bridge.
STEP 5: Lay cut cardboard roadway across ladders so it is resting on one of the ladder rungs.
STEP 6: Tie yarn at top of first ladder then let curve down towards road then back up to next ladder and tie at the top. Repeat on opposite side of ladder as well.
STEP 7: Tie another long piece to ladder tops and pull at angle down to roadway end and secure.
STEP 8: Using more yarn, tie pieces to curved main yarn line, loop under roadway then back up other side and tie to opposite curved main yarn. Repeat all across bridge using various lengths of yarn to support bridge while keeping the downward curve of your main yarn line.
STEP 9: Decorate water area as desired.
I hope you have fun making your own suspension bridge! To find out more information or join us in our journey, click the image below!
Click here to see the rest of our Delaware activities! If you’d like to come along with us on our Road Trip USA journey, click the image below to learn more!
Very cool! We live near it, too…
This is awesome! Although I must say it is beautiful to look at but very scary to drive over! 😉
Great hands on idea! Children learn so much from doing projects like that.
Great idea! Love the pictures.
So cool! I grew up mostly in VA spending every vacation driving to NJ to visit grandparents. The Delaware Memorial Bridge was always a milestone point in the trip to gauge if we were close to being there yet.
This looks so cool! We just started our Road Trip USA today, so we will be making our own bridge soon too:)