mindful living, effortless style

Lots of great ideas here for my little engineer!

{Play Idea} 17 Unique Materials for Building & Creating

Summer has hit full stride and all the free time off school has lost its allure.  We’ve been swimming, hiking, adventuring and more!   So, now it’s time to explore new activities that will satisfy the kids’ natural curiosity and endless amounts of energy.

We’ve picked our top 17 building activities, using everything from newspaper to marshmallows.  Most of these items you’ll have at home, so pick an activity from the list this afternoon when boredom hits your house.

Basic Building Blocks used in New Ways…

Unique Materials Used as Building Blocks…

  • Kiwi Crate’s Jello Building Blocks can be eaten after play.  Bonus!
  • You might not want to eat all the sugar cubes after creating Mama Papa Bubba’s Sugar Cube Structures, but they sure are fun to stack.
  • Create Pool Noodle Building Blocks with this idea from Bath Activities for Kids.  The fun all happens in the bath tub, which makes it great for hot days.
  • Another idea for hot days is Learn Play Imagine’s Stackable Glowing Ice Cubes.  Even a simple idea like ice can provide hours of entertainment.
  • Life-size Building Blocks made out of newspaper featured on Modern Parents Messy Kids is an idea that fosters creativity and can easily be taken down.  And recycled!

New Ways to Build a House…

  • The Little Grass House takes patience (it takes time for the grass to grow).  It’s a project by Spoonful that kids can check on every day.
  • If you have empty shoe boxes lying around, check out Apartment Therapy’s Box House.  It goes all the way up the wall!  And it’s definitely a several day project.
  • Maybe you want an afternoon project instead.  Spoonful gives us inspiration for building a Box House out of everyday items.
  • Those with more of an artsy touch will love Pink Stripey Socks’ Stained Glass Cellophane House.  It is truly beautiful.

Completely Open-Ended Building Ideas…

  • Artchoo gives us the idea to Build with Index Cards and Straws.  They also have a slew of other ideas to create with index cards.
  • Last summer, we featured Silly Straws Two Ways on the blog.  If you have straws at home, you have options.
  • We also featured the idea of Building with Marshmallows and Gummies and showed us that this activity not only helps with building skills, but also puts a big emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math.)
  • For the building enthusiast, create a PVC Pipe Building Kit like A Mom with a Lesson Plan.  A trip to Home Depot and a few dollars later, you’ll set your little ones up for hours of creating and building.




P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and save time? Follow these 3 steps:

1) Check out our Project Organize Your ENTIRE Life 2016 Printables and our Kids' Responsibility & Money Management Kit : over 50 pages of 2015 daily/weekly/monthly planners, cleaning schedules, meal planners, kids’ routine charts, budgeting sheets and much more!

2016 POYEL Printables
Kids Responsibility & Money Management Kit


2) Sign up for our newsletter:

sign up for the newsletter and get a free 6 week meal plan


3) Bookmark our famous Gift Guides for the next time you need the perfect kids' gift! (400+ detailed descriptions including age recommendations)- just click on the photos below

Our infamous kids' gift guides

The following two tabs change content below.
Kristin is a former teacher turned children’s photographer in southern California. Visit her website to read all about her adventures in photography, cooking, and her love of style.