Any building materials you choose will work for this activity such as:
- Recyclables (toilet paper tubes, cardboard boxes, etc.)
- Tape / glue / safety scissors (if using recyclables or paper products)
- Building blocks
- Modeling clay
- Pictures of different towers or access to a phone/computer to search for images (i.e., the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Space Needle, etc.)
Recipe for Playful Learning!
Little architects will have fun putting their building and planning skills into practice as they engineer replicas of their favorite towers from around the world!
STEP 1: Discuss what a tower is and why we have them.
STEP 2: Show children pictures of different towers and ask them to choose their favorite one to re-create. Children can work individually or in pairs.
STEP 3: Using the picture as a guide, encourage children to build a replica of the tower they have chosen using any of the materials available. Remind children that engineering can be a repetitive process: sometimes we have to try things more than once to get it right! They should ask the following questions as they build:
- Does my structure resemble the tower I am replicating?
- Is my tower sturdy?
- How can I improve my tower?
STEP 4: Children can share their towers with one another, or with a parent/caregiver, explaining what tower they used as their inspiration and why they chose it. Encourage children to share their process building the tower and not just their final product. For example, what materials did they use? What challenges did they face?
To simplify, children can create any tower they imagine, rather than trying to replicate an existing tower.
To add complexity, encourage children to begin with blueprinting a plan for their tower before building. Their blueprint should show what their tower will look like, what materials they will use, and any other notes to guide their building process.
STEAM Focus: Engineering