Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Box City

Inspired by Teacher Tom, we decided to build Box city.  We grabbed up all the boxes that we had around the house, pulled out the glue gun and some tape and set to work.   
 They were so excited to get to man the glue gun all by themselves.  Each of them ended up burned but when asked if they wanted to stop building they all emphatically told me no. Each child decided that he or she just needed to be more careful. 
They made sure that the city was aesthetically pleasing as well as structurally sound.  Of course there were plenty of booby traps and snares for any bad guys that might be lurking in the grass.  Two of my favorites were the spider trap (made from an old Parmesan cheese container) and the ball catapult and connecting track.  Sorry, no pics of those.  My camera's battery latch is broken and it is a serious pain to take photos with it. 

Here Carter is attaching his radio tower complete with several satellites and antennae.  Layne is busy fixing up an escalator so that the people can get into the party store. 
The Tindle kids spent about two hours building and fortifying their city.  It was complete with a pool, a satellite, a water tower, city hall, the public library, a science center, several hide outs and tunnels, a bridge, a couple hotels and a party store.  After they were all finished building they grabbed a ton of action figures, some of their great grandpa's old figurines and the kung zhu hamsters and spent another two hours racing the hamsters through the "dark city streets."  Four hours of play and learning for about fifty cents worth of glue sticks and a month's worth of recycling, yeah, I'm good with that investment. 

I think we will have a dynamic little play area, at least as long as the rain holds out.  If I'm brave enough, I might let them paint it Teacher Tom style in the next day or two.  We'll see.

Here is the academic breakdown.  
~ Everybody learned a bit about safe practices when dealing with heat and electricity. This also ended up being a great opportunity to talk about appropriate first aid for burns.  Each of the kids either dealt with their own burn or helped someone else dress theirs, with supervision. 
~They naturally learned a bit about structures and balance.  These "blocks" were very different from their stable wooden set in the house. 
~They added in social studies by discussing the purposes of the various buildings.  When they grabbed their toys and started acting out their stories they began putting a librarian in the library and a scientist in the science center. 
~Creative story telling is only a skip and a jump away from creative writing.  My kids had plenty of stories to tell about the building process, various "construction zones," different enemies and the heroes who would protect the city, etc.  This is an ongoing play mode in our home but what they create verbally while playing usually ends up finding it's way to paper eventually. 
~It was also a great exercise in cooperation and communication.  We had four kids and one glue gun, they had to work together in order to build anything. 
~It is an obvious art link, especially if we decide to finish decorating it. 
~We didn't, but you could incorporate math by counting boxes as they are added, multiplying by fours and sixes (number of sides) and subtracting if something was pulled off the structure.

See, plenty of learning to be had.

Hope you are all having a great week. Thanks for reading!


No comments:

Post a Comment