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May 28, 2020

Fun Construction Activities for the Stay Home Child

Being able to build things often engages both the creative and scientific parts of an individual’s brain. How about engaging your child with some activities that cater to both of these thought processes during this circuit breaker? Check out some cool projects below!

1. Toilet rolls and running marbles

This project is a simple one that brings about lots of fun! All you will need are:

  • Some marbles
  • Masking tape (or any tape that does not damage painted walls)
  • Cardboard rolls (from kitchen towel or toilet rolls)
  • A scissors or pen knife

Prepare for the project by cutting the cardboard rolls into half lengthwise, so that they resemble open-faced pipes. Parents may want to do this as handling a scissors of pen knife may be too dangerous for your child. Once done, form a “route” for your cardboard rolls with your child! Let them think up ways to form a route for the marbles to roll down the different cardboard rolls back onto the ground. It is also helpful to have a cup or basket to collect the marbles at the end! This activity allows them to stimulate their problem solving skills into working out how the marbles can smoothly roll from start to finish along all the cardboard boxes. 

Tip: Make sure to place the tape onto the cardboard rolls first, running from one edge to the other (breadth wise) so that it ensures the cardboard roll can be stuck to the wall securely. 

2. Lego Volcanoes 

This experiment allows your child to both learn more about science education and gets their creative juices flowing as they construct their own volcanoe out of Lego pieces! You will need:

  • Lego building blocks
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Red food coloring
  • Vinegar
  • Warm water
  • A jar that can fit into your built volcano

First, build your volcano using the Lego blocks. Engage your child to think about how tall the volcano should be, how wide, and more importantly, to think about how to construct a Lego masterpiece to resemble a volcano that can contain the jar! Next, let’s create the lava. Mix the red food coloring with the warm water and place into the jar. Then, place the jar into the volcano and add in the baking soda and around 6 drops of dishwashing detergent. Lastly, fill the jar up with the vinegar – the volcano should erupt! 

3. Catapult: Team Marshmallow

Ever heard of marshmallow catapults? They are simple and fun to make! You will need:

  • Big marshmallows
  • Tiny marshmallows (to launch)
  • Wooden skewers
  • A plastic spoon
  • Rubber bands
  • Tape

Form a triangle with three big marshmallows and three skewers. It should lay flat on the table. Then, take three more skewers and place one on top of each marshmallow that forms the triangle. Use one marshmallow to join all three of the vertical sticks together, forming a pyramid shape. Tape the plastic spoon to one free skewer, and stick this skewer into one of the marshmallows that is lying flat on the table. Note: After being skewered, the top of the spoon should be able to fire above the marshmallow that is joined at the top of the structure. Happy firing! 

We hope you and your child enjoy these educational activities! Should you and your child be interested in science and scientific endeavors, check our our YMCA Learning Centre STEM programme! This programme aims to spark an interest in students in learning how the world around us works, through experiential learning. Do contact us to find out more! 

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