Hands on Architectural learning from PLAY PLANKS®

“The mother of art is Architecture, without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization. “

Frank Loyd Wright

Introducing architecture to kids in our region is becoming a need. Teaching about the engineering behind the tall skyscrapers and observing about the spatial awareness will lead them to the future builders and problem solving techniques. Architecture offers a world of possibilities for learning all sorts of things, in or out of the classroom. When children and teens design and create structures, they draw upon many different skills and fields of knowledge—math, engineering, history, social studies, planning, geography, art and design. This weekend we did practice some of the playful hands on learning fun. we did some very simple and easy to start on so you can say this post is specially for the beginner’s guide to architectural lesson through PLAY PLANKS® .

This weekend me and my daughter age 11 years tried some Architectural building exercises through PLAY PLANKS® , it is a very interesting tool to teach architectural learning as well it teaches you the art of balancing and stabilizing a structure but it requires loads of patience because in the beginning you might experience a lot of toppling. but once you got used to it you can create endless designs. so, here are some of our exercises we played:

Forming a beam and column structure:

first and foremost we start with very basic structure system that is beam and column, once you got grasp on it you can go ahead with many several other options. so, we start with balancing the vertical part (column) and the horizontal part (beam), initially we learn to balance it with planks later on we form an arcade by repeating the same structure to form an arcade. We construct it with two vertical planks and one horizontal plank.

later on , i extend the same exercise into forming the roof tops on the same column beam structure so that it may form an arch in between the two, but it was difficult to construct but any how we tried to made so and the result is below, giving a Chinese gateway look. This took 25-40 pieces of PLAY PLANKS®

Adding up the planks at top to form an arch, looks like a Chinese gateway!

Constructing a simple hut

This one was a bit easier and good for beginner’s level forming a hut with a tapered roof. In our childhood we also used to make a drawing or scenery along with a house having tapered roof so do kids love to construct it too! first the walls were made by stacking them up simply and then the roof was constructed by placing horizontal layers of planks and then an alternate arrangement of planks over it . It was super easy and no topple experienced. This takes almost 50 pieces of PLAY PLANKS®

easiest hut
The end product

The Library, a little project

The third task we did was to make a space of your choice which you want to built from PLAY PLANKS® . My 11 year old is so obsessed with books so her decision was to built on a library with PLAY PLANKS® . She started out with building up the walls first by laying the planks flat on the surface and then arranging the vertical planks to form up the walls. What was the end product for library model, the pictures below says it all. This specific project takes 50-80 pieces of PLAY PLANKS®

That’s all for this week, we will bring on further architectural projects through PLAY PLANKS® mostly we will try on some bridges and famous landmark buildings. Til then keep exploring and happy building with PLAY PLANKS®

This blog is written by:

Maheen Ali

A homeschooling mom of three and a non-practicing architect

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