Sunday, October 12, 2014

Homeschool Project: Cut-and-Assemble Buildings

Toy men used to be his passion: cowboys, Indians, soldiers, and farmers that were supposed to be attached to the tractor but he always managed to pull off. When Suzanne and I started a cut-and-assemble building, I didn't realize that it would be a playscape. Matt occupied himself for hours playing pretend with tiny men and our cut-and-assemble buildings.

Let me back up and explain about cut-and-assemble books read more
which are made of card stock. Each page is pre-printed with part of a building and/or accessories for inside the building. You cut them out and use glue to construct them. They range from old time buildings like a western frontier town to modern dioramas to show the New York Harbor .

Our family loved this kind of project. As the younger children got older, we all sat around and cut out the parts. We had some good conversations at the time. The work can also keep hands busy and bodies still while you read aloud. The finished product is fun to display for relatives or your homeschool group. Be sure that your children enjoy this kind of project before you embark on it. For some, this would be a turn off.

Constructing these can be a great addition to a history unit of study. The details of the projects are realistic and help history come alive for children. For example, when we studied early world history, we cut and assembled a Roman fort. I supplemented our kings and queens unit with building a medieval castle.

You can use these constructions not only to study history but for inspiration for speaking and writing. Have them describe what it looks like verbally and then write about it. They can make up a story using the diorama as the setting, record it, and type it up for younger ones to practice reading. Have them compare and contrast two constructions set side by side. They can also research to find pictures of similar buildings in books or online.

Storing these bulky projects can be a problem. You might want to explain before starting that after they assemble it, the family will use it for a time, and then you have to dispose of it to make room for a new project. Buy a new project and then quietly remove the old one when the children aren’t around. If you have room to store it, save it for another year when you study a similar topic.

Our love-to-pretend son happened to be very careful. I’m sure that is not always the case, so you have to make your own judgment about letting little ones play with a project on which an older one has spent so much time.

Consider starting one of these building projects. They do take a while, and you would have to set aside some time each day to work on it, but they are worthwhile. Here is the link to the Amazon page with lots of cut-and-assemble books.

1 comment:

  1. Great idea, Sandy. I don't remember if we actually ever did one of these but I do remember themed coloring books and paper dolls to enhance science and history.