Using everyday items, this fun bridge construction project can be a solid foundation for hands-on learning. “There’s no right or wrong way to do it,” says Heather Hamrle, an early childhood specialist at Great Lakes Science Center. Preschoolers can build their bridge using whatever materials they want. “Then they test it out,” says Hamrle. “If it fails, that’s OK. They can go back and redo it.”
What you’ll need:
An assortment of paper cups, plates, string, Play-Doh, construction paper, craft sticks, paper towel rolls, tape, child-safe scissors
and several coins or small rocks for weight
What to do:
Put out all suggested materials. Create a 1-foot gap between two tables. Let young engineers work on assembling their bridges. When finished, place any type of weight on the bridge, from pennies to rocks, to test it. If the bridge collapses or parts fail, go back and find ways to improve the bridge.
Why it’s cool:
“They’re actually starting the process that real engineers actually use,” says Hamrle. “They’re doing it in an engaging and fun way.”