Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bringing Books to Life - Build It!

If you are like me then I am guessing that you try to encourage learning to continue even after the books have been put down.  I like to ever so subtly suggest that my kids build something after we've read a book or studied a person, event or time period.  I might say something like "Hey why don't you guys build a such and such."  That's subtle, right?

I may be the occasional initiator but once they get going, they are totally into what they are doing.  Building seems to make my kids happy, happy, happy!  They build with big Legos, little Legos, those large cardboard brick block things, Lincoln Logs and cardboard boxes.  If they can stack it, they will!

We've just about finished up our medieval times study that included kings, queens, knights and castles.  In the mist of that study my kids built a really cool castle out of Legos (really wish we had taken a picture of that one).  We also got some super sized boxes from a friend and they made a castle out of them, draw bridge and all (didn't get a picture of this one either)! 

I have learned that if you let the kids go with their imagination, they will go.  I have also realized that once they do or build something to correlate with what we are reading or studying it sticks much better.  Have you noticed this?

Here are some ideas that we've come up with to do after or while we are reading a book:
  • If you are reading through the Little House on the Prairie series or studying American history build a log cabin with Popsicle sticks.  Depending on your kids age and ability, they could either do something simple or more elaborate.  If you have Lincoln Logs then you could encourage them to build a whole frontier.  If you don't have Lincoln Logs save up cardboard rolls and use them.
  • Legos are great for building castles, forts, houses, scenes and such.  If you have just read about a zoo let them build one.  You could pick a scene out of the book your reading and let them go to town or build one!  You can build just about anything from Legos!
  • Are you on Freecycle yet?  It's a wonderful place to find moving boxes boxes for building houses and scenes.  Let the kids recreate the The Three Little Bear's house and furniture with cardboard boxes.  Go read Mike Mulligan and His Steam shovel then help the kids make a cardboard Marianne.  Read the Little House and then build a cardboard version from the book.
  • Have you seen the FloraCraft Styrofoam craft bricks?  I bought these to build a Colosseum when we were reading Twice Freed.
  • Let them sculpt the characters that you are reading about from Playdoh or clay.  Wouldn't it be fun to make the Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Playdoh, I bet the kids would think so!
There are just so may options when it comes to building.  As you are reading with your kids, think about what you all could build when the stories over.  Even better, let them build quietly as you are reading, this seems to help my kids listen better!

If you missed my first post, Books in the Kitchen, you can read it here to catch up.

5 days, 65 bloggers, 325 blog posts! Check out what others on the TOS Crew are writing about for the 5 Days of Series here.

What do your kids build with?


Missouri Mama said...

My son builds everything with Jenga Blocks. We must own seven sets.

Brandi said...

Never thought of that, what a great idea. I think we have that game hiding around here somewhere, I will have to find it. Thanks!

Lori said...

My family loves reading too! My 11 year old daughter likes to act out books she has read. She has a whole trunk of dress up clothing so she can become different characters!

Melissa said...

Oh yes - building and creativity - so fun!

Brandi said...

My kids act out books that they have read too! I love when they dress the part they are acting out : )

Under the Sky said...

This is such a fun post! I love all the ideas.

Thanks for sharing!


Brandi said...

Thanks Kate!!

Mary said...

Great ideas!!

Kym Thorpe said...

My boys are Lego fiends. They have built everything we've ever studied with Lego. LOL

Brandi said...

They sound like they'd fit in just fine over here with my kids! : )


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