- Houses and Homes by Ann Morris
- small paper bags
- string scissors
- soil or sand (or a sandbox), pail, shovel
- The Three Little Pigs by Gavin Bishop or photos of different types of buildings or animal homes (optional)
Objective: Children will use their problem-solving skills to make houses out of items they find outdoors.
1. Together, read Houses and Homes. (You can also share The Three Little Pigs or collect and display photos of a variety of houses or animal homes from old magazines or books.) Talk about the different types of buildings. How are the houses the same and different? What materials are the houses made of? What shapes are the houses?
2. Invite children to search the yard, playground, or other outdoor areas for items they can use to make houses with, such as sticks, stones, grass, and weeds. Give children paper bags to place the items in.
3. Guide children to make mud by mixing soil or sand and water together in a pail. (Make sure it's not too watery.) Then encourage them to explore different ways to make houses, such as these: Tie sticks together with string to make walls; tie the walls together; make a roof with sticks, weeds, or grass.
- Tie grass or weeds together to make walls and a roof; tie the walls and roof together
- Use the mud to hold sticks together and form walls.
- Use the mud to hold rocks together and form straight or curved walls; add a roof of sticks, weeds, or grass.
- Form the mud into walls and add a roof.
4. Talk together about the different types of hous1 es children made. What materials did they use? How did they use them? What shapes are their houses? Invite children to compare the houses they created with those in the book or photos.
Tips: If possible, do the activity near a sandbox and a water source. Otherwise, provide a bag of soil or sand and a bucket of water.
Spin-Off: Back in the classroom, invite children to create a village. They can paint a large piece of cardboard and then place the houses they made on it.
Share these books about different kinds of houses.
Animal Tracks by Arthur Dorros
Houses and Homes by Ann Morris
The Three Little Pigs by Gavin Bishop