Project Recycle & Create: Building a Cardboard City
Last month the boys made a wish-list of ideas they wanted to try during the month. One idea was to make a city. Another was to make a tape track. This combination was the start of their invasion of the living room.
The boys have been known to steal from the recycling bin and create some pretty amazing things. Before this project, one of my favorites was defintely the creation Legoman made for Super B. Just for fun I have included the video of their fun.
Using a project based philosophy we set to work to create a Cardboard city complete with tape track roads.
Step One: Plan the Cardboard City
As with any of the projects we do, we started with our “Brain Map”.
A “Brain Map” is a graphic organizer that is used to help children organize their ideas surrounding a subject. It is easily adaptable to all ages (I used to use this in Preschool).
The boys started by defining what they wanted to create. A City.
Then they asked and answered questions.
What is in a city?
What makes a city work?
What kinds of people are in a city?
What does a city need?
Brain maps provide an educator or caregiver so much insight into what the child knows and understands. Not only does it allow me to see what spelling/word patterns they knw… it also allows me to see how they organized their thoughts. If we were doing this as a unit/project study, I would have them do another brain map at the conclusion to see what they learned.
For the purpose of this experience, we did not do the afterwards assessment ,however the photos document what was learned during this experience.
But what does a city look like?
Where should we put the streets and buildings?
We got out google maps and looked up our city. We played with it for some time, notating the shape of the blocks and the placement of the buildings. We were finally ready to create.
Step Two: Create the Cardboard City
Creating is so much fun for us. We are a family that strives to leave a low footprint, meaning we reuse materials, recycle as much as possible, and even buy minimal products that produce wastes.
We keep a running inventory of boxes, lids, bubble wrap and more at our disposal just for such occasions as this.
So off the boys went to our stash to find suitable buildings for their city.
In order to make the streets, we used painters tape and laid out the blocks. They really wanted to incorporate their wooden car garage, so we made the city around one central block. They chose very specifically where they wanted each type of building.
“We need the hospital here, Mom. It is right by the tower which is in downtown. Most people are in downtown.”
“We need Target near the people’s houses so they can get to the store easily and not have to drive across town.”
“The zoo needs to have enough room and be near parking.”
I simply love hearing what children say as they think things out and problem solve.
Our city was complete with a Zoo, The Hospital, Eli’s Cheesecake Factory, a Milky Way CandyShop, several homes, and a Tergit (Target).
Step Three: Play with the Cardboard City
Now for the moment they had waited for. Play time. I wish I could tell you they liked this play scene. But no! No, They LOVED it!.
We had removed the carpet, taken over the living room and created an entire city at their fingertips.
They raced the cars, they parked and went to Target, they visited the zoo and they drove home at the end of the day. Everyone had a blast playing.
” Oh, Mom, those are all the kids and parents from a school waiting to get in. They are on a field trip.”
Even Super B had fun. (Who for this experience was known as B-zilla… as she was quite destructive to the city)
Who knew so much fun could be had with recycled materials?
Actually, I did and so do several other amazing bloggers. I am thrilled to co-hosting monthly in P is for Preschool’s Project Recycle and Create. Each month the co-hosts listed below will post a project focused around a recycled material. This month was, as I am sure you could tell…
Each month we will bring you a new material and a new project. Be sure to check out each Co-host as they have each done something very different. You are sure to find some amazing ideas. Every month we will be pinning our projects and our favorites to our Pinterest board.
Want to Join the Fun?
Be sure to follow the creator of this project, P is for Preschool, and many others of the co-hosts to stay updated each month.
P is for Preschooler
Afterschool for Smarty Pants
Still Playing School
Lemon Lime Adventures
Creative World of Varya
There’s Just One Mommy
Little Bins for Little Hands
Teach Me Mommy
Grab a Box and Create
Make your favorite craft. Give your children a box and see what happens. Recreate your favorite play scene.
For bloggers, we are offering a link-up.
What have you created using a cardboard box? What is your favorite recycled material to use?