Build a Cardboard-Box Neighborhood
Construct your own bustling town!
- Grades: PreK–K
- Small cardboard boxes (approximately 9- by 12-inches or 12- by 16-inches)
- Chart paper
- Pencils and markers
- Colored construction paper
- Safety scissors
- Glue sticks
- Tempera paint and brushes
- Props from the block area (vehicles, people, traffic signs)
- Social awareness
- Fine motor
Step 1: Write the word "Neighborhood" at the top of a sheet of chart paper. Ask children to share what they know about a neighborhood and record their comments. Explain that they will each design a home or apartment building and then build a neighborhood together.
Step 2: Let children select a cardboard box for the project. Explain that they will make a house or apartment building out of the box. Discuss what the front of the building will look like, as well as the sides and back. Encourage children to think about their own homes. Invite them to use pencils to sketch their ideas on the box.
Step 3: Once children complete their drawings, provide them with markers, construction paper, scissors, and glue to add detail. Offer tempera paint and brushes for children who want to paint the buildings.
Step 4: Bring children together to share their work. Next, invite them to set up their neighborhood in the block area. Encourage them to think of how they can arrange their homes to include streets like a real neighborhood. Add the suggested props to enhance dramatic play.
Remember: It may be helpful to take children on a walk or show them photographs of their neighborhood. This will help them recall the types of homes and important businesses in their community.
My Address and Phone Number
Send home a note to families requesting that they assist their child in learning important emergency information. This includes their parents' first and last names, and their address and phone number.
Curriculum Connection: Literacy
Businesses and Services
Now that children have set up their neighborhood, ask them to think of different stores that they will need. Develop a list of ideas. Collect more boxes and provide children with art materials to create businesses and services for their neighborhood. Help children create the appropriate signage for their buildings.