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Sesame Street

Here to Engineer

Engineering is the process of planning and building something. Help your child build a structure for a special object, such as a stuffed animal or toy.

Materials

  • Small toy or stuffed animal
  • Paper
  • Crayons or markers
  • Blocks
  • Ruler

Directions

  1. With your child, pick an object that he would like to build a structure for, such as a favorite stuffed animal or a small toy.
  2. Talk together about what kind of structure he could build, such as a house. Then, observe the object and think of any special characteristics to keep in mind when designing a house for it. For instance, think about how tall or wide the structure should be depending on the size of the stuffed animal or toy.
  3. Use a ruler to help your child measure the object’s height and width, so you know how tall and wide to make the house. Keep in mind that the house should be a little taller and wider than the object, so that it can fit inside.
  4. Explain that a diagram is a picture that shows the parts of something, and help your child draw a diagram of his structure on a piece of paper.
  5. Encourage him to talk about his design by asking questions such as, “What size blocks do you need to build your structure? What tool did you use to measure the object?”
  6. Build the structure! Use the ruler to check the height and width of the structure to make sure that it is a little taller and wider than the object.
  7. Then, put the stuffed animal or toy inside of its new home!

Talk About It

After your child has finished building his structure, talk with him about it. What shape is the structure? Is the structure big enough to fit the stuffed animal or toy? Then, look at the diagram and see if it matches his structure. Would he make any changes? If he could build it again, would he consider using a different material? Let your child know that if something doesn’t go according to plan, he can always change his plan. He can create another diagram and build a brand new structure!

Take It Further

Take a walk around your neighborhood with your child and look at different buildings. Ask your child questions, such as "What materials do you think were used?" Talk about what the building is used for. What do people do inside of it? Bring some paper along with you and draw diagrams of your favorite buildings or structures!

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