Straw Architecture for Kids

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What is straw architecture exactly?

A house made of straws?

I’ll huff and puff and blow your house down…

OH NO YOU WON’T!!! We have made them far to strong for that…

This wonderful building activity for children involves creativity, learning, problem solving, cutting, sticking, decorating and so much more, it really is something to try!!

At our art classes I like to make an effort to give children the opportunity to create something 3 dimensional. So often art is flat or created on a flat surface. Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, it just takes a new twist when you create in mid air – and is often a little more challenging.

More challenging but NOT more difficult!

How to best set up a table for your own straw architecture!

Even before we start looking at houses or talking about houses I like to get the creativity and thinking started.

This time I placed the box of straws on the floor and asked them, “What can you build with straws.”

Of course straws are not seen as building materials so you get a few blank looks, but after a little ‘seeding’ the ideas start coming… rockets, ladders, a tall building…

…and of course… houses!

We then spoke about how to build houses with straws and the different things you can do to put them together – by sticking, by using tape – by pinching the one end to make the straw smaller and push it into the other.

And then we designed our houses!

I asked the children to draw any house they would like to build. The reason for the planning is I wanted them to add windows, doors and other details in their plan – so when it came to the execution they spent some time problem solving – How to add a window to a hanging straw ceiling!! If it was never in the plan they may just not want windows…

What do you need to be ready for straw architecture?

I had set up a table ready for construction!

All the elements to build and decorate were there.

Each child placed their white or green cardboard onto a clipboard. Being attached to the clipboard helped to balance the house when it started getting extra tall!!

Once everyone was assembled at the table and all housing plans were drawn we got busy!

The best way to start is with one foundation taped or glued firmly to the ‘ground’.

From then on it’s building and building…

We had a few construction sites going on…

You could also use play dough to cement the straws together!

Here is our recipe for our best play dough in the world!

Here are some of our building projects, with thanks to my little architects!

This one below even has glass windows and a landscaped garden!

This straw architecture is definitely something you have to give a try!

It kept us busy for almost 2 hours – and there was not a peep in the room!!

NOTE: I was the sticky tape monster!! I sat with the children and put small pieces of tape on my fingers – so they could just grab them off as they needed them! Younger children really struggle to cut or tear their own sticky tape – even from the dispensers!

If you are not going to be on hand to play sticky tape monster, you could place tape pieces along the sides of a table in advance.

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2 Comments

  1. Jody Crampton

    I cut short pieces of pipe cleaners and addd then to my STEM box. They slide easily into straws and bend. My students LOVE creating with different materials!

    Reply

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