If you’re looking for fun hands-on science activities for your kids, building structures is a great way for young children experiment with planning and constructing. It’s a super opportunity to explore new materials and tools too.
It’s amazing to see what kids can do with a few basic tools and the freedom to build and create whatever their hearts desire. Even more amazing is how long kids will work on a project like this.
My toddlers and preschoolers stayed busy for the better part of a morning building these styrofoam structures, and they returned to the activity again after their afternoon naps.
You may also like our homemade cardboard construction activity.
Cutting styrofoam with plastic saws, and poking craft sticks and golf tees into their styrofoam pieces was a great activity for strengthening fine motor skills and co-ordination. Critical thinking came into play as they planned and constructed their structures!
What a fun and inexpensive activity to keep toddlers and preschoolers entertained, thinking and learning!
Isn’t it great when a spur-of-the-moment, open-ended activity ends up being WAY bigger and better than you imagine it would be?
Recently Jamie from Hands On: As We Grow wrote about the fun that her boys had with their styrofoam destruction activity, and I immediately went to the garage and rescued a couple of large pieces of styrofoam that I’d added to our growing “dump run” pile.
Supplies and Tools for our Styrofoam Construction Activity
For this activity, I set out the styrofoam along with
- golf tees
- craft sticks
- chopped up drinking straws
- rocks (hammers)
- “saws” (play dough knife, a cake decorating tool and a plastic knife)
Now, maybe it was because I just happened to have two construction-lovin’ boys here today, but this may have been one of our most popular activities yet.
I didn’t give them any instruction other than to tell them how the “tools” could be used to secure the styrofoam blocks together. They wasted no time getting right to work and straight into full concentration mode.
They deconstructed and reconstructed,
with determined looks on their faces.
They worked away for over an hour, in a flurry of busy activity, until they felt that their projects were complete, and even then they returned to the table through-out morning and afternoon to tweak a piece here or there and to hammer in another golf tee or to cut another piece of foam.
They were so proud of their finished projects.
The builder of this next piece announced that his was an “ice house”.
What a hit!
Simple materials, no cost and loads of creative fun!
More structure building activities for preschoolers:
Diy Cardboard Construction Set
Toilet Roll Structures
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.