Building an Adobe House with Preschool children

Before you buy any kind of clay or clay soil, please investigate with the children what kind of soil you have available to you in your school’s garden. Conduct a ‘soil test’ by mixing some soil with water in a jar. Within a few minutes you will be able to see what your soil contains.

You need: soil with a high clay content; short pieces of straw; and water.

Any kind of container can be used to form clay bricks - plastic, metal, etc. The bricks don’t need to be square; any three-dimensional shape will work, eg. triangular prisms. Make sure the soil does not contain any stones or other dangerous materials. Add water and straw to the soil.

Children can stomp on the mixture with their bare feet...

...and use their hands to mix the mud well until it becomes one sticky mud pie! It is a good idea to have a bowl of water handy for children to wash their hands and feet afterwards.

Children can design the bricks in an endless number of ways...any 3D shape will work, even freeform sculptures!

Once all the bricks are dry, the children will transport them to the construction area. The individual bricks will be fixed together using additional mud (made from the same earth-straw-water mixture).

Building a wall requires teamwork: carrying the bricks and placing them on the wall is a lot of fun but also hard work! Children will use their hands and feet in order to build a strong wall.

A “magic window” can be placed in the wall - a great contrast to the rough mud!

The walls are built and a space for the entrance has been left open.

The roof can be built out of branches and covered first with a large piece of burlap and then with a piece of nylon to protect the house against rain.

A second piece of burlap covers the nylon to give the house a more natural look. Children can use straw to decorate their Adobe house.

Every new building deserves a BIG opening celebration! Children are responsible for making invitations.

You can decorate the house with balloons and a red ribbon and the housewarming party can start!