Houses Around the World Mini Unit

We had requested the book If You Lived Here from the library a few weeks ago and I kept meaning to get around to reading it with the boys.  Today we finished our schoolwork in record time and we were looking at a long day with nothing to do.

Inspiration struck and I told the boys I'd read the book and then they could create at least one of the houses from the story using materials from around the house.  They thought that sounded like a lot of fun!

We read the book and then brainstormed other houses that we knew of that were not pictured in the book.  We talked about the materials we could use--

  • play dough
  • building blocks
  • Lincoln logs
  • Lego's
  • Empty boxes, cans and jugs
  • Toothpicks/ Popsicle sticks
  • Virtual recreations-- I figured at least one boy would want to use Minecraft
  • Lunch bags
  • Paper
  • Magna-tiles   
  • Food-- Think Rice Krispie treats, pretzel rods, pasta pieces, and crackers. 
 At first they all started in with play dough and were making pretty much the same houses but the more we talked, looked through Pinterest at crafting ideas and talked the more they branched out and started challenging themselves.

 Ian decided to make a log cabin out of Popsicle sticks; it will take him a few days since all the glue needs to dry but he's already gotten the floor and two walls done.

He also made a house on stilts like the ones pictured in the Netherlands.

Ian's floating house from the Netherlands 
Working on his log cabin 
Evan made a stilt house too but his was more like the one the book had pictured from Chili

Evan's stilt house from Chili 

Alec made a Ndebele house complete with decorated walls and everything.
Alec's decorated house of Ndebele 

They eventually started making other things with play dough too and led to an entire afternoon of fun.

 I heard them talking about foods from around the world and all the recipes they were making for one another too!

As a follow up we also read Homes Around the World and looked through From Mud Huts to Skyscrapers 


  1. This looks like alot of fun! My kids enjoy doing activities like this!

    1. It really was. I can tell my oldest, in particular, really was interested in trying out a few different types of houses. I always forget how much he likes to build and construct and I'm not always as creative in finding ways to tie that creativity in with what we're doing. So when inspiration struck this morning we ran with it.

  2. You can google Operation Christmas Child and then look for a drop off location near you.
    BLessings, Dawn

  3. I will have to grab this book and activity when we study architecture and design later in the year! Thanks!

  4. How neat! So glad to stumble on this post through the Blog and Tell linky. I just did a post about Africa where we explored various homes and buildings across the continent too (actually did all this about a year ago...I take forever to post stuff). Our house building activity did not go as well as yours (I picked the activity for co-op cause my son said he wanted to do it, but he thought I meant build a LIFE SIZE African hut...LOL!). I linked to this post and your posts about books and movies about Africa in it. Such great resources!

  5. Oh my goodness - what a great book. I must look into this. Sarah #FabFridayPost


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