Have you ever tried building stone cairns? If you have children who love building towers they’re a fab activity to try – combining natural materials, loose parts, construction play and just a little added dash of wow-factor!
Stone cairns :: building towers with natural materials
How can you use LEGO® to teach math, spelling, science and art? This resource of over 100 LEGO® activities for kids will show you how, with ideas for using LEGO® bricks for learning right across the curriculum. See The Unofficial Guide to Learning with LEGO® here.
A cairn is a man-made stack of stones, found all over the world, marking special places and used since ancient times. They are also lots of fun to build with your children.
When you’re at the beach there’s no end to the loose parts on offer for play.
Start by hunting out the perfect pebbles. Flat stones are easier to balance, or go for a mix of shapes if you fancy a challenge.
You could try to build a cairn with a wide base…
or build a tall, narrow tower, with one pebble on top of another. You can pick all your pebbles so they are the same colour, or mix in different ones to create a design. You can add small stones or shells at the very top for a final flourish.
What are children learning?
Aside from being fun,by making these stone cairns you have the opportunity to
:: explore the beach and discover the natural materials available for play. You might find other treasures while you beach-comb for the perfect pebble. We found shells, a mermaid’s purse and some fossils.
:: learn about constructing in three dimensions and consider how you need to adapt your design to get your cairn to stay upright.
:: encounter gravity!
:: concentrate. It’s good for children to have a task that requires them to be quiet, think, and focus just on what they are doing. Building these towers is a mini meditation. My children were silent as they fixed their attention on getting their stones to balance.
:: create something beautiful, for others to discover after you have left the beach for the day. These are art installations that might inspire others to take up the challenge and see if they can add a cairn to the collection.
More beach theme activities
If you like our cairns idea, you might also like these beach-theme activities
100+ Learning with LEGO® activities
How can you use LEGO® to teach math, spelling, science and art?
The Unofficial Guide to Learning with LEGO® has over 100 LEGO® activities for kids will show you how, with ideas for using LEGO® bricks for learning right across the curriculum.
These resources invite your child to stretch their imagination and skills, in lots of new ways, and use LEGO® bricks to learn about math, literacy, science, design, engineering, fine motor, sensory, art and more.
There are so many ideas here! You can use them to teach and for play, on rainy days, holidays, and as part of your homeschool or classroom curriculum.