Dirt Pile Play
You don't always need to come up with complicated party game ideas.
Kids love just playing in the dirt. Fill up a kiddie pool or sandbox
dirt and give them all kinds of construction vehicles, small shovels,
buckets, etc. to play with. Another cool idea is to hide a number of
toys to resemble Bob's machine friends in the dirt and have the kids dig
is a perfect place to explore construction vehicles.
Your child can pick up long sticks or Lincoln Logs with a crane, move sand
around with a dump truck and make roads in the sand with a bulldozer.
small metal nuts, bolts, and washers in a tub of cedar shavings (available
at pet supply
stores). Encourage little ones to use magnets to collect the metal
items from among the cedar
shavings. Then have them assemble the nut, bolt, and washer sets.
How many sets did you find.
Block Area Fun
paper brick blocks into the block center and then added hard hats
I added dump trucks, bull dozers and cranes. The kids loved this!
using blocks. (the cardboard bricks are the favorite here)
When we do
construction, we use all the blocks that we have available.
(Legos, wooden blocks, waffle blocks and Lincoln Logs) We construct a town
with the blocks,
using our trucks to move the blocks and cranes to build up. We wear
construction materials, such as legos and blocks to build houses.
Add gears and
ramps to block area.
Nuts & Bolts
assortment of nuts and bolts for the children to twist together.
Offer a variety of sizes and styles for the children to match up, and
offer bolts that
vary in length. Challenge the children to screw the nuts all the way
onto the bolts.
ADULT SUPERVISION REQUIRED!!
Nuts and bolts are a choking hazard to very young children.
Bob's Rock Toss
construction game is to make "rock" bean bags from old grey socks
(fill them up with beans or rice, and sow them closed or use a rubber
band). Use a couple
of Tonka dump trucks and have the kids try to toss their "rocks" into the dump
Rock Paper Mache Fun
Blow up a balloon
and add one layer of paper mache. Pop the balloon and scrunch the
sides some to look like a rock. Add more paper mache--You may have
to add small pieces
of crumpled paper here and there to make it look more like a rock. Fill
with baggies of goodies
(pop rocks, rock candy, those pebble shaped jelly beans, etc--maybe some
small construction vehicles)
Place the 'rock' on the floor and let the children crush it with toy
your children to design and then build a building using marshmallows
large amount of cotton balls in a large bowl. Then
blindfold two players and have them scoop the cotton balls
from one bowl to the other using a small plastic shovel.
Pounding brown clay with the
Hammer & Nails
Supply large styro-foam blocks,
golf tees and plastic hammers for the children
to experiment with. Cover styro-foam with burlap and secure it underneath.
Make some outline pictures and let them pound a picture.
First discuss the properties
of some buildings. Sides, roofs, doors, windows, etc. Show
them pictures of different kinds of buildings asking about the different
types of roofs, etc.
Then let children glue Popsicle sticks onto paper to make building shapes.
They may want
to have smaller sizes so let them break them in half. Have paint and small
brushes to let
them paint their constructed "buildings." Then ask them to tell you about
the buildings they
created and write down what they say to add to the project. These projects always
out so interesting and original.
Stock your art center
with craft glue and items suitable for building, such as boxes, craft
toothpicks, and scraps of cardboard. If desired, also provide
decorative materials, such as paint,
wallpaper samples, and sequins. Encourage children at this center to
use the craft items to
create three-dimensional houses or buildings. For a custom finish,
to use the decorative items to further personalize their buildings.
Invite each child to
make one shoebox dollhouse. You can send a note home for the
project to be done at home or at school. Then when all the shoebox
houses are complete,
stack them up one on top of the other and secure them with tape to create
an apartment building.
Get actual blueprints and
point out to the children the lines on them that indicate walls,
windows, doors, etc. Point out that this is what architects (new word) use
when they are
planning buildings before they are built. Then at the art table have large
pieces of blue paper with
white crayons or white colored pencils and rulers. Let them go to town
making their own blueprints.
Have the children be
"architects" (talk about what this word means first) and
have them design their own building, skyscraper, house, etc... out of
toothpicks. The creations can get to be very imaginative. It's great to
see what they come up with!
Graham Cracker House
Build a house out of
cardboard. Have Your children put graham cracker roofs and siding on
it by using frosting. You can also provide them with additional frosting
to decorate the house.
Invite your little
workers to create their own musical masterpieces with some simple tools of
the trade. To prepare, stock a toolbox with items such as wrenches,
small blocks of wood,
PVC pipes, nuts and bolts, and any other tools with unique noise producing
potential. Put the
toolbox a few hard hats and recording of upbeat music in a center.
Then invite a child to turn on the
music and use the tools, hard hats, and even the toolbox to gently
experiment with sounds and rhythm.
Funnels Are Fun
play sand, small pebbles, toy trucks, funnels, string, small shovels
Fill a sensory table or sturdy plastic pool with clean play sand. Add
pebbles for texture interest. Park a collection to toy trucks in this tub.
Then hang some
funnels from the ceiling, so that they are suspended just above the sand.
Toss in a few small shovels and let your little ones loose.
Pipes and Pebbles
pebbles, various sizes of plastic tubing and PVC pipe
Pour a few bags of aquarium pebbles into a tub. Then supply
different sizes of plastic tubing and PVC pipe. Plink, plink, plunk!
Pipes and Pebbles and Puddles
various sizes of plastic tubing and PVC pipe,
plastic soda bottle funnels,
water and food coloring
Set up a center similar to the one above, but this time add water. A
few drops of food
coloring will make it all the more interesting. And toss in some homemade
Building with Wood Scraps
Supply the children with
wood scraps and miscellaneous
shapes and a lot of glue and see what they come up with.
Building with Toothpicks &
If your children are old
enough to work with toothpicks supply them
with a bowl of gumdrops and some toothpicks to construct with.
Building with Straws & Tape
If you have older
children, they will love this next project. A few years ago my family and
attended a seminar on parenting. One of the activities they did was
supply each family with
several boxes of straws and rolls of tape. Our assignment was to build
the tallest straw
structure possible with in the time frame (I think it was 10-15 minutes).
had to be free standing and could not touch any surface other than the
Constructing Huge Vehicles
We have a building set
called No Ends (purchased through Discount School
Supply). We construct huge vehicles for the children to actually sit in.
Tool Feely Box
Purchased some cheap plastic
tools at our local dollar store then I took pictures of them
with my digital camera and made them into laminated cards. I hole punched
put the cards and put them on a ball and chain keychain. Then I sewed a
tool box using
felt and a product called timtex (you could just get a cheap tool box) Now
we use it as
a feely box. I use the cards as prompts so the kids can see the tool if
they need help
identifying it. Other times I show them a card and ask if they can feel
and find it in the tool box.