I found this activity in the March 2008 issue of Family Fun: Constrawction Zone
"Looking for some instant fun on a rainy day? Grab a box of bendable straws and invite your child to try his hand at a building activity that takes all kinds of whimsical twists and turns. Connect the straws by squeezing the end of one and sliding it into the end of another. Kids can also slide straws through one another by snipping a slit (bend straw and cut through the fold, do not cut off the fold). Then they can make twists and turns over, under, and through the structure."
We had some dud straws lying around (cheap 4th of July red, white and blue straws that all seemed to have holes in them when we tried to use them). This weekend I pulled them out and expected my kids to make a few shapes and be done. My older daughter however spent a couple hours going well beyond a triangle and square to create silhouettes of animals.
From now on, I'm going to keep lots of straws around, just in case!
Challenge: Can you name and create multi-sided shapes such as triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon …