Type to search

Seven summer architecture and design projects for kids to do at home

Seven summer architecture and design projects for kids to do at home


At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we wrote a piece on architecture and design activities for kids to do at home. More than a year later, it continues to be one of our most read articles.

While COVID-19 lockdowns are (hopefully) a thing of the past, news of potential delays to the start of the 2022 term mean many Australian kids may still be at home for longer than expected this summer.

With that in mind, we’ve put together an updated list of great holiday-themed architecture and design projects for the little ones to enjoy.

If you haven’t seen our 2020 activities guide, check it out now.

NGV Kids at Home

The National Gallery of Victoria returns to summer 2022 with a fantastic collection of activity sheets celebrating the start of a new year and some of its latest exhibitions.

Kids can practice drawing a rhombus while designing their own bag, test themselves with optical illusions and even create their own version of architect Kengo Kuma and artist Geoff Nees’s Botanical pavilion for the NGV Triennial.

Center For Architecture – Architecture at Home

The American Institute of America New York chapter has a range of design and architecture activities for kids of all ages.

These short, easy to follow design projects use simple materials to get kids exploring building design, NYC history, landscape design, interior design, game design, skyscrapers and more.

Think a miniature 3D furniture challenge and steps for redesigning bedrooms to scale.

See all the Architecture At Home resources.

The Center also has a Building Bridges challenge for the more engineering-minded little one.

Gensler Amazing Cities colouring books

Global architecture, design and planning firm Gensler released two free 80+ page colouring books for kids (and kids-at-heart) to while away the summer days.

Both focus on Texas with landmarks, activities and plenty of Did You Knows?, before concluding with a whip around the world to places like Venice, Mexico and the Golden Gate Bridge in California.

The A+D Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles’ Book of Buildings Coloring Book is also a great free resource with easy-to-read information and adorable kid-friendly drawings of OMA’s Taipei Performing Arts Center, Gaudi’s Casa Batllo and Foster and Partners’ The Gherkin among others.

London Design Museum – Create and Make At Home

Create and Make – DIY Banjo from Design Museum on Vimeo.

The London Design Museum has weekly worksheets and activities that span architecture, design, fashion and engineering.

In the latest worksheet, kids are being challenged to design their own street, while past activities include DIY DJ Masks, banjos, shoes and imaginary flying cars.

Check out all the activities.

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum – Ready, Set, Design

The Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC has designed a quick group activity that challenges primary and secondary school age children to solve a problem with nothing more than a handful of household items.

The Ready, Set, Design workbook includes a list of example challenges – all of which are designed to be open-ended to encourage different interpretations and creative thinking.

Challenges can be as simple as “I need to protect myself from the rain” or as complex as “I need to keep a new born baby warm in a place with no electricity”.

BabbledabbledoDesign for Kids: Paper Houses

This paper house tutorial gets a special mention for the third template, which is Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye for the child (or parent) who can’t resist a slice of iconic modernist architecture.

But if you, like the rest of the country, have a surplus of toilet paper rolls lying around, our advice is to take the town challenge 3D with this mini city project from Today’s Parent.

Kix Cereal – Cardboard Playhouse

And finally, because all budding architects need some on-site practice, there’s this tutorial for building a playhouse out of nothing more than a cardboard box.

The article was inspired by three equally cute cardboard houses featured in A Beautiful Mess.

Lead photo: Babbledabbledo Paper houses.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *