- variety of blocks
- props for building: animals, vehicles, road signs, fabric, wall paper scraps, rocks, sticks, string, tape, drawing materials
- plastic tools, tape measures, rulers
- plastic hard hats and work clothes (plastic bowls can also be used as hard hats)
- plastic trucks and building machines (or small empty boxes for carting) - books about buildings, construction sites, building machines, and so forth
- magazines with photographs of different types of buildings and dwellings
Objective: Children will develop creative-thinking, math, and language skills as they use a variety of blocks and manipulatives to create a space for "something" to live in.
- Begin the activity with a language experience chart to find out what children already know about construction sites, construction workers, and buildings. Collect a variety of books to read to the children about buildings and structures, such as Building a House by Byron Barton.
- Use pictures from books or magazines to show children different types of building machines and buildings. Create a variety of charts listing the types of machines used for building, different types of buildings, and the different workers who are needed to build a building. 3 Explain to children that the block area will be changed to a construction site. Invite children to assist in placing materials into the area. Include the suggested materials to enhance the dramatic-play schemes.
- Schedule small groups of children to work in the construction site. Provide them with ample time to develop and explore their ideas. If possible, children can keep their buildings up for one or two days.
- Take photographs of the children's buildings to document their work. Mount the photographs onto sheets of construction paper and invite the builders to dictate information about their buildings. Create a display using their photographs and language experience charts.
Art: Building Machines. Invite children to create their own building machine. Provide them with a variety of small boxes (such as shoe boxes and tissue boxes), round plastic or metal lids (yogurt containers or jars), glue, child safety scissors, masking tape, cellophane paper, and tempera paint. Children can use their building machines in the block building area or to carry small building manipulatives, animals, or toy people. Encourage children to write stories about their building machines or talk about them at group time.
Building Machines and What They Do by Derek Ratford
Construction Workers by Tami Deedrick
How a House Is Built by Gail Gibbons