Let's Build!

Design and build some cozy hide-aways.

  • Target Age:  3-5 
  • Subject: engineering
  • Related Episode: Curious George's Home For Pigeons 


  • furniture cushions or sturdy pillows
  • sheets
  • cardboard boxes
  • heavy-duty tape
  • utility knife (adult use only)


With some simple household materials, a little imagination, and some encouragement from you, your child can learn some basic engineering concepts while building a city in the living room!

1. Build "Pillow Place": Invite your child to build a hiding place using sturdy pillows from couches and stuffed chairs. Let your child be the main builder, but feel free to lend a hand or make suggestions: This chair is nice and heavy. Could that help the pillow stay up?

2. Design "Tent City": You can make a simple tent by draping a sheet over a table and crawling underneath. But you can also do much more! Let your child make tents by draping sheets between different pieces of furniture or over a rope tied between two points. Your child may need to come up with inventive ways to hold the sheets in place.

3. Create Cardboard Tunnels: Connect Pillow Place to Tent City with a convenient tunnel! Gather boxes and tape. Work together to design a tunnel that your child can crawl through. To make a straight tunnel, open up the top and bottom flaps of the boxes and tape them end to end to make a long row. Try making your tunnel turn a corner, or creating places where your child can stand up and look out. (A utility knife is a good tool for cutting cardboard, but be sure to set clear safety rules before using it around your child.)

Take it Further

Create other (smaller!) structures with your child. For example, make an apartment building using pieces of cardboard for floors and paper cups (or blocks) for supports. How many levels can your child build? Encourage your child to experiment with the placement and number of cups holding up each cardboard floor.

More Ways to Discover and Learn

Look in a Book

  • The Dream House by Pirkko Vainio
  • Let's Try It Out with Towers and Bridges by Seymour Simon and Nicole Fauteux


Find more activities featuring your child’s favorite PBS KIDS character!