Children love to build things they can play in—old boxes, blankets and furniture, or wooden blocks can all be the building materials for your child's dream home, vehicle, or fortress. Here's an activity that has your child craft his own set of building blocks to create bigger-than-life constructs. All you need to do is roll newspapers into logs, and your child will have inexpensive blocks to keep him engaged and entertained for hours. With these blocks, your child will be exercising his imagination and experimenting with balance, cause and effect, structure strength, angles, curves and shapes.
What You Do:
- Take two sheets of newspaper, and help your child roll them into a tight roll. Tape with masking tape to prevent unrolling—a small piece or two is all that is needed. The completed roll should be 1 to 3 inches in diameter.
- Repeat the above procedure until you have 50 to 500 newspaper logs. (Believe us–this doesn’t take as long as you think!)
Now let your child construct anything he wants—a tower, a house, a rocket ship, a bus, a train, an igloo, a fence. Some structures will be self-supporting, others will need the help of props or tape.
Want to do more?
- Supplement newspaper logs with other building materials to create new and interesting constructions. Open sheets of newspaper, blankets, chairs, card tables and coffee tables can provide materials for expanding this activity throughout the room.
- Let the children play architect. The younger children can talk about plans and ideas as the older ones sketch ideas on paper.
- Design a house for the guinea pig.
- Visit a construction site.
- Discuss blueprints to show what grownups do when they are engaged in similar activities. Discuss cause and effect, e.g., Our building keeps falling down! Why? How can we build it so it won’t fall down?
Adapted with permission from "Everything for Fall: An Early Childhood Curriculum Activity Book." Copyright 1997 by Kathy Charner (Editor). Used by Permission of Gryphon House, Inc., Maryland. All Rights Reserved.