University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education
College of Education @ University of Illinois

Toothpick Activity


Examine geometry first-hand through this web activity by drawing geometric shapes with toothpicks.

Directions for using this applet:

  • Creating a toothpick: Left-click on the toothpick box to pull another toothpick out. There is no limit on the number you may use.
  • Selecting a toothpick: Left click on a toothpick to select it. A selected toothpick will become slightly darker and will become the top toothpick. A toothpick will rstrongain selected until you left-click elsewhere on the board or on another toothpick. (Note: Right-clicking elsewhere on the board will not deselect a toothpick.)
  • Rotating a toothpick: Left-click on a toothpick to select it. Once it is selected, you may rotate it 45 degrees by pressing the right mouse button (Alt-Click on a Mac) or 'R' on the keyboard.
  • Moving a toothpick: Left-click on it to select it and drag it to the desired location. You may use the arrow keys to move it small distances.

The Simulation

<div style="font-size: 20px; font-weight: bold; background-color: #FFCCCC; border: 1px solid red; width: 500px; height: 400px;"> Your Java Plug-In is out of date. <br />You must download a later version to use this applet. <br />You may do that <a href="">here</a> </div>

Applet Source:

Modified by Michael McKelvey

Original code written by Nicholas Exner.


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