Construction is a necessary industry worldwide, and it’s important to introduce children and teens to small- and large-scale construction skills that could lead them to a career or just help them live better lives. With more schooling occurring on computers, exploration activities allow students of all ages to get hands-on with projects or expand their virtual abilities. These activities for each student level help them learn the necessary skills.
Preschoolers are learning to navigate the world independently, developing fine and gross motor skills that are essential throughout their life. Safety and creating are also becoming familiar concepts to them, so explore those foundations to encourage curiosity and awareness.
The ability to scoop items into a container and pour them back out is excellent for developing a toddler’s fine motor skills. What better way to do that than with construction items?
They can learn about different trucks as they move dirt, sand or rocks into and out of miniature versions of bulldozers and dump trucks. To change things up, replace the trucks with small shovels and buckets.
This game is an excellent way to learn about protective clothing and why construction workers use it. When building something, should they wear a baseball cap or hard hat? Should they wear medical gloves or work gloves? How about boots or flip-flops? Answer these questions by letting them choose the garment they think is correct and they can try them on for pretend scenarios.
Block-building is a popular activity for many preschoolers. Introduce them to age-appropriate Legos, magnet tiles and other building blocks to make their own buildings. Through this activity, kids inadvertently learn about how the weights, shapes and sizes of materials affect different structures.
Elementary schoolers are able to start creating larger projects and applying math and science concepts to their creations. These three activities nurture those developing skills.
This activity is excellent for kids to develop teamwork skills, express creativity and create impressive structures from simple materials. Get some large cardboard boxes from a grocery or furniture store, or ask friends to contribute some from deliveries. With scissors, crayons and masking tape, kids can create their own “homes” and put together their city.
Older elementary students can work on small woodworking projects with supervision. They get experience putting pieces together and connecting them with a hammer and nails, or potentially sanding them and getting creative with paint.
Measuring is an essential skill for construction and many other things in life. Teaching children to use rulers and tape measures allows them to practice this skill. They can learn about dimensions and how different measurements combine to make shapes and structures.
Middle schoolers are learning how to navigate becoming teenagers and with that change in body and education, they can start learning advanced concepts.
Various websites and applications allow kids to build in a three-dimensional world. Middle schoolers can design and build homes, offices, parks and roads using these softwarethis software.
Today’s kids are more technologically-savvy than previous generations and can use computers to create virtual worlds. Encourage them to pay close attention to what makes their buildings structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing. Once complete, have them explain their creation and discuss how they could do something similar in the real world.
A great woodworking project for middle school is to create a shoe rack. This is a fantastic introduction to using a saw to cut precise measurements.
Once they cut their wood planks, they can assemble them as a shelf with a barrier to store shoes. Use wood glue, hammer and nails, sandpaper and a stain to make a nice rack for their own shoes or a loved one’s.
Circuit blocks are an excellent way to introduce electricity to middle schoolers. With a few basic items, kids can learn about polarity and how to connect wires to power a device safely.
Ensure adults supervise during this activity, as there are some safety risks. Short-circuiting the battery could cause injury, and some of the wires could poke kids or get caught in their hair.
Some kids will continue their education after high school — others will go straight to the workforce. These projects are excellent for students with either motivation.
High schoolers can make a lamp as their construction project. It’s a great outlet for them to practice designing, constructing and wiring a customized project. Provide blueprints for the lamp’s base with wood or metal and provide them with materials to add wiring for a lightbulb.
This is an excellent way to introduce older kids to a life skill and potential career options. They gaongain experience they can take to art, architecture, building and electrical jobs.
When students learn to make bricks, they can make almost anything. One idea is to get students to create a project for their school or community, whether it’s a display, fire pit, walkway or even a wall for a house. Brick molds are available online, and they can use mud, sand and straw to fill the molds. After that, the possibilities are endless.
High school is an excellent time to introduce welding concepts to students. Picture frames, pencil holders and doorbells are all great projects for beginner welders. Setting up a classroom workshop provides opportunities for students to explore new skills they can carry for the rest of their lives.
Whether working on their major or expanding their skill set, these three construction exploration projects provide advanced learning opportunities.
Video drones are common among construction workers, journalists, government officials and videographers. Building one takes mechanical and design skills useful in the construction industry. College students can assemble a frame, add propellers, install an antenna and flight controller, and attach a camera for excellent flying and video functionality.
More work sites use virtual reality to examine efficiency and potential dangers before a project begins. Students wanting careers in the construction industry can gain experience using these programs to learn about safely working at a site. With various smartphone and tablet applications, they can explore numerous scenarios, giving them an advantage by using the newly-popular technology.
A noble thing that gives college students real-world experience is building homes for people who need them. There are myriad organizations throughout the country that utilize volunteers to create functional, sustainable homes. They can gain experience building a frame, pouring a foundation, constructing a roof, installing windows and floors, and painting.
Exploring construction-related activities is excellent for students of any age. These opportunities provide kids with enjoyable ways to build necessary skills to thrive in whatever career path they choose.