Welcome! If you’re looking for ways to engage your kids in creative, educational playtime activities – then we’ve got some great suggestions for you. Building activities are an excellent way to spark excitement and interest among children of all ages.
Whether they’re building a fort, bridge, castle, or something else entirely – they’ll be sure to love the chance to use their imaginations while creating real-life structures. But when it comes time to gather supplies, don’t go out spending tons of money at the local store.
Instead, check out this blog post about simple building materials for kids that can easily be found around your home or garden. Best of all these supplies won’t cost anything but a little bit of your time! So grab those hammers and nails (or whatever other materials you choose) and let’s get started on making memories with our little ones.
Simple Building Materials for Kids
The power of simple building materials for kids should never be underestimated. Kids are creative and amazingly imaginative. I am always in awe of the inventions made from practically no materials!
Building activities for kids to get even more out of the experience by teaching them important skills such as problem-solving, fine motor skills, math concepts, and building techniques.
Their developing minds are ripe for building and creating. Last week we had an unfortunate incident with marshmallows. I introduced what I thought was a brilliant and simple invitation to build. I set out a tray, a bowl of toothpicks, and a bowl of mini marshmallows.
Then this happened with the simple building materials…
With little self-regulation my 5 and, particularly, my 3.5-year-old challenged me by wanting to eat most of the core simple building materials. They’d build a “cool structure” and then with great joy eat their “cool structure”. Admittedly I became frustrated with my sons, or maybe with myself.
How could I expect them NOT to want to eat the marshmallows? I hated to squash their joy but I ended the activity sooner than I anticipated that afternoon. That evening I was determined to conjure up better, simple building materials for kids (at least my kids), edible or not. Here is the list I generated from my brainstorm.
Simple Building Materials for Kids
Popsicle sticks are a classic building material that can be used for a variety of projects. They can be glued or taped together to create houses, furniture, or even sculptures. Popsicle sticks are also relatively sturdy, so they can be used to build structures that will support other materials, such as clay or paper.
Cardboard tubes can be used to create all sorts of things, from houses and tunnels to furniture and cars. They can be taped or glued together, and can even be stacked on top of each other to create taller structures. You can usually find cardboard tubes at your local hardware or home improvement store.
Foam blocks are another great building material for kids. They are lightweight and easy to handle, making them perfect for younger children. Foam blocks can be glued or taped together, and can be used to create houses, furniture, or sculptures. You can usually find foam blocks at your local craft store.
Wooden blocks are a classic building material that can be used to create just about anything imaginable. They can be stacked on top of each other to create tall structures, or arranged in any number of patterns.
Wooden blocks are also relatively sturdy, so they can support other materials, such as clay or paper. You can usually find wooden blocks at your local toy or home goods store.
Lincoln Logs are a type of wooden block that is specifically designed for building log cabin-style structures. They have interlocking notches on the ends of each piece, which makes them easy to stack on top of each other.
Lincoln Logs are usually made from real wood, making them a more durable option than some of the other materials on this list. You can usually find Lincoln Logs at your local toy store.
K’Nex is a construction toy that consists of plastic rods and connectors that snap together. It can be used to build just about anything imaginable, from houses and towers to vehicles and mechanical devices. K’Nex is a great option for older kids who want to build more complex structures
Magna tiles are a great building tool for kids that encourages problem-solving and creative thinking. They foster an environment for imaginative building and can help improve visual-spatial skills.
Not only are Magna Tiles appropriate for building 3D structures, but kids can also use them to develop cognitive awareness, fine motor skills, and even math comprehension.
The colorful configurations allow children to create countless building possibilities with the guidance of their own imaginations. Magna tiles are an excellent building tool for kids to construct their dreams and test their abilities!
Playdough is a fantastic building tool for kids! It provides them with endless opportunities for creativity and imaginative play. With playdough, kids can make all kinds of structures such as towers and bridges, and they can also craft new objects that don’t exist in the real world. It encourages them to think outside the box and explore their imagination while having fun.
Mini corks are the perfect building tools for the budding engineer in your house! They offer an easy, safe, and fun way to get started building and experimenting with engineering principles.
With mini corks, kids can use their imagination to make a variety of cool structures from towers to bridges, all while learning how cork parts interact and how structures can be reinforced with different building components.
Plus, since mini corks come in a range of sizes and colors, there are plenty of building possibilities for all kinds of projects. So give your kid the mini cork-building tools they need for their own engineering creations!
Soap building is a creative and fun way for kids to learn building tools! Using soap and water, kids can construct unique objects from shapes of their own imagination. Not only is it engaging, but also encourages problem-solving as they navigate how to make their structure stay together.
It’s an easy and stimulating way to help them develop building skills that can be transferred over into other hobbies or even academic areas. Soap building offers a great opportunity for the whole family to get involved in the building process – perfect for some quality bonding time! Glycerine Transparent Soap works well. I love this Soap Sculpture from The Artful Parent!)
Edible Simple Building Materials
- Grapes (check out this great building activity using grapes from The Artful Parent)
- Cheese cubes
- Beans (soaks overnight)
- Gumdrops like this fun building activity over at Tinkerlab
Create the Invitation to Build with Simple Building Materials
- Simple Tray (to create a workspace)
- Toothpicks (from your kitchen)
- Building material (any one of the above, or dream up one of your own)
For further engineering learning, check out this post The BEST Books for Little Architects