There are 650 billion LEGO bricks out in the world right now, and chances are your children could own hundreds of them!
Sold in 130 countries around the world, LEGO (a company founded in Denmark in 1932) continues to fascinate children and adults alike, with many families taking part in collaborative projects to create buildings, vehicles, and superheroes.
If your child is one of the many that’s happy spending hours on hands-on projects, and they enjoy working towards a goal, then finding them additional opportunities to show off their design, planning, and architectural skills is a great way to help encourage their skills.
Screens are a big temptation nowadays, so it is also important to offer non-tech activities that allow them to expand on their interests, and potentially even develop skills they can use one day in their professional lives.
If you’re raising a future budding architect, consider these 4 building activities for kids to help keep your child learning and creating in new ways:
There is something inherently appealing about forts, especially for kids. Forts enable kids to have their own private space in the middle of a busy backyard or indoor space.
They can also make great reading nooks, or pre-bedtime spaces in which to practice relaxation exercises or meditate, alone or with their parents.
When it comes to actually building a blanket fort, consider both temporary and longer lasting ways for your child to create their space.
At its most basic level, an indoor fort could consist of nothing more than furniture placed to create a nook, with blankets on top.
To make the space extra special, consider letting your child using poles, sheets, and clothespins to create a more durable fort, and then decorate the inside with drawings and fairy lights.
When it’s time to put the fort away, store the decor for next time so your little one can easily create a private space when they like!
If you have extra space in your back yard, an outdoor playhouse can provide hours of screen-free entertainment opportunities for your children.
The best thing about creating a playhouse outdoors is that the building process can be as easy or as complex as your child might desire.
For younger children, consider trying a dedicated fort kit, containing poles, joiners and a fabric covering. The pieces can be put together in different ways so that your child can create a space that’s perfect for them.
For older children, or for a fun family project, consider building a more permanent structure out of plywood or old pallets.
Kids will love getting the chance to hammer nails, cut pieces of wood, and paint to create their ideal space.
And having an outdoor getaway they helped to build themselves is a great way to encourage outdoor playtime once the playhouse is complete!
Little builders enjoy being challenged with a variety of materials, and sand is one of the most popular building mediums for kids of all ages.
If you live near the beach, head to the shore early in the morning or during sunset, to avoid the crowds, and work with your kids to make beautiful castles in the sand.
Start out by assembling all the tools you need (shovels, buckets, carving tools, and a funnel). Find a quiet location that has moist sand. Dig a water hole so you have a constant supply of water, then mix your sand with water until it has a firm, packable consistency.
You can then pack the mixture, either with your hands or with buckets and molds, to create towers, walls, and arches. Finally, finish off your castle by carving lines, curves, and artistic symbols onto the side of your castle or its fortifications.
Once your family has mastered the basic sand castle, have fun experimenting with other sand sculptures as well! Consider trying to create some life-sized sand animals or a sand skyscraper.
When your kids figure out the basics of building with sand, there’s no limit to what they can create.
Get Creative With Math-Inspired Building
All builders and architects need serious math skills—including geometric modeling, understanding units, measurement, and visualization.
So, why not demonstrate a few of these skills in fun ways? For instance, to create geometric shapes like squares, rectangles, cubes, and pyramids, let kids build a shape of their choice with toothpicks and mini marshmallows.
You can also cut and fold construction paper into a host of 3D shapes ranging from cuboids to hexagonal prisms and even hexagonal-based pyramids.
If you’re new to paper folding, grab a beginner’s origami book and chat with your kids about the shapes you’re creating as you follow along.
Want to try a bigger math-based project? Consider starting a garden with your child, and let them calculate how many rows can be planted of different vegetables in your available space, and how many seeds are needed for each row.
The best thing about a larger undertaking like this is that, after all their hard work and calculating, they’ll have some of their favorite vegetables to eat!
When it comes to finding new building activities for kids, there are all kinds of ways to let them learn and create at the same time.
So, think outside the box and let your children experiment with different materials to see what kind of new building projects they come up with.
Finding building activities for kids really can be as simple as providing them with materials around the house and yard, and letting them go wild!