Building Activities for kids using pipe cleaners and packing peanuts
Whenever I see marshmallow structures, apple structures( check this one out!) or grapes structures I immediately have the urge to set that up for my kids. They are so fun! However my kids tend to snack a whole lot on their play materials. The next best material I could come up with were packing peanuts!
- Pipe Cleaners
- Starch-based packing peanuts ( any peanuts will work)
- Styrofoam Board (or)
- Polystyrene packing material
This kids created and played with the materials over a period of 3 days. So you will see a mix of images. One day we used a Styrofoam board purchased from the craft store and on the others we used regular packing materials.
I set out the packing peanuts, pipe cleaners and the Styrofoam board out. My 5 year old was pretty eager to try out this activity. I usually set out the materials and just hang around and watch what they do with them. I do not drop any hints and have them explore the materials they way they want. My 5 year old immediately started poking the pipe cleaners to the Styrofoam board and using the peanuts to make a house.
It was great to see her move from one step to another focusing on it and getting excited about her discovery. She was very glad when she figured out how to do the roof.
After the house was built, the kids played pretend with their vehicles and little people going in and out of the house. Great right? They can make their own play house! Pretend play, story telling abilities and engineering!
More building ensued and the house turned out to be a ” super cool house hanging machine” – words from the 5 year old!
As you can see simple building activities for kids can turn out to be much more. This invitation to create and play gave the children an opportunity to exercise their engineering skills and spatial thinking. MY 5 year wanted to build a house- so she had to set about forming the image in her mind and replicating it with the available materials. Another child could have done a completely different structure or could have used the materials in a totally different way.
The little one on the other hand had her own kind of fun. She was very much into making arches with the pipe cleaners. Once she would make the arch and set up a play scene with the peanuts under them pretending to be dogs sleeping in their kennels.
On another day, the kids collaboratively ( of course with a bit of tussle included) made a spider ( to the left)
My toddler “hired” me to make her a small girl so that she can play with her in the house the kids built again on that day. I made a quick and easy purple girl. And another pink girl who apparently is doing a cart-wheel according to the girls.
Both of them had a grand time playing with their little pipe cleaner girls.
We also made what I think are some kind of animals. My 5 year old says those are giraffes. You see, these building activities were much-loved by the kiddies.
Building activities for kids is a simple and fun way to introduce basic math, not to mention the oodles of opportunities to enhance those fine motor skills.
The pipe cleaners used in this project were from Craftprojectsideas. I was not obligated to write this post.
Affiliate Links to products or similar products used
Thanks for reading