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How to build a bridge

Children building a bridge from blocks and pouring water underneath

Project information

Building on the children’s interest

As the children were immersed in playing with wooden cylinders, exploring balance and building tall towers, the educator took their interest in construction with wooden blocks as a starting point to research bridges together with the aim of constructing a bridge as a group.

What’s your perspective?

The children learned about six types of bridges and their attention focussed on the blue train bridge from the wooden train set. The educator encouraged the children to investigate the bridge and to paint it. She showed them how she painted her perspective of the bridge by explaining as she painted, “See how there is a line on the structure of the bridge here, that’s why you paint it on your page there.” Then she asked the children to show her how they painted their bridges. They painted the bottom line of the bridge, used long curved strokes to make the archway of their bridges, followed by the beams of steal running vertically down the bridge’s structure.

London Bridge is falling down

We watched videos of different bridges and the children were particularly fascinated to see how Tower Bridge lifted to let ships through. This inspired us to sing ‘London Bridge is falling down’ with the children which, in turn, led into an activity where the children stood in pairs, pretending to be a bridge, and the educator crawling through, checking whether this would make their bridge fall down.

More bridge explorations

During the project, the children had the opportunity to create bridges from many different types of materials, which they found around the room. They created arch bridges from the edge of paper plates complemented with cotton buds, paddle pop sticks and toothpicks, after their educator had been creative and reminded them of the arch shape by showing a banana. The children also used their own bodies to create bridge shapes during yoga sessions and experimented with playdough as a base for bridge pillars. The project culminated in the construction of a very creative bridge, put together as a group using chairs, string, building blocks and recycled materials.

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