In this activity, you and your child will work together to build a bridge using household items that are strong enough to hold up a toy animal.
First talk to your child about bridges: “Tell me what you know about bridges.” You might ask some of these questions:
Show your child some plastic animals and a piece of paper that you will pretend is a river. Have her color the paper blue to look like a river. Then tell your child: “Let’s pretend this paper is a big, deep river. It’s too wide for the animals to cross. Let’s see if we can build a bridge strong enough to hold the animals so that they can walk across.”
Next, walk around your home looking for materials to build your bridge. Ask your child: “What kind of materials can we find in our house to make a bridge? What should we use to make our bridge strong?” Listen to her ideas and collect the materials your child suggests. If your child doesn’t know what to use, help her by adding some suggestions of your own (e.g., “Maybe we should try blocks, popsicle sticks, and straws. What do you think?”)
Once you have gathered your materials, work together with your child to build your bridge. Follow your child’s lead on which materials to try first and where to put them on your bridge. Remind your child that a bridge needs to be above the water. As you’re building, ask your child questions, such as:
If the bridge falls over, it’s okay! Try different combinations of materials until you have created a bridge sturdy enough for the animal to cross. You might use tape to secure your bridge materials together and make it sturdier.