- Develop social, language, math, creative-thinking, and problem-solving skills
- Work together to plan and design a building using large appliance boxes
- Two or three large appliance boxes
- Tempera paint and brushes
- Drawing paper and markers
- Newspaper or plastic drop cloth
- Duct tape and masking tape
- Cellophane paper
- Wall paper, gift wrap, and fabric scraps
- Box cutter (to be safely used by an adult only!)
Step 1: Invite children to share what they know about how homes or buildings are constructed. Ask them to think of the different types of jobs that are needed to build a real home.
Step 2: Encourage children to work together to plan and build a structure using large appliance boxes. The building can be used inside or outside depending on your space. Create a list of the different tasks or jobs that need to be done and who will do them (architects plan the building, builders tape the boxes together painter paints the outside of the building, decorator decorates the inside space, and so on). Invite children to choose a specific job.
Step 3: Ask children to think about the type of building they will build. Will each room have a specific purpose, such as a house, hospital, or school? Children can create their own "blueprints" for the building design. Invite them to think of different ways that the boxes could be attached.
Step 4: Once the building layout has been determined, an adult can cut out the needed openings using a box cutter. Children can attach the boxes using duct tape or just place boxes together. Cover the floor with newspaper or a plastic drop cloth and invite children to paint the outside and inside of the boxes. Children can use wallpaper scraps and fabric to decorate the individual rooms and cellophane paper for windows.
Step 5: Discuss the types of signs that are on different buildings or homes. Encourage children to think about the types of signs they need for their building. Provide paper and writing materials so children can make the needed signs.
Step 6: Plan a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the children's accomplishment. Invite families or another class to the event. Children can lead small group tours of their building.
Dramatic Play: Prop Box
Invite children to develop a prop box for their building. Create a list of needed items to include. Ask children to gather things that they already have in their classroom and encourage them to think of things that they could make for their prop box.
Buildings by Betsy Chessen and Pamela Chanko
House and Homes by Ann Morris
Raising the Roof by Ronald Kidd