Do you know a little creative person who loves architecture? They might love building cubbies and forts, constructing sand-castles or making dolls-houses for their toys out of cardboard boxes! However if you need a few MORE ideas for what else they might like for Christmas, here are my top five gift ideas for encourage your budding little Architect! (Or for ALL children really!)
1. Kids Architecture Books
There are some fabulous books about Architetcure for kids! Some of my faves (and the ones my kids love too!) are “Iggy Peck, Architect” where young Iggy is passionate with architecture and manages to save the day, or “Roberto: The Insect Architect” which is a very humorous tale about a termite that loves building with wood (instead of eating it!) with clever references to world-famous architects, or “See Inside Famous Buildings” a flip-the-flap book by Usbourne.
2. Wooden Blocks
Every kid should have a set of wooden blocks! I love the texture of the wood, I love the open-ended play (meaning kids use their imagination and creativity to use the blocks in any way possible through exploration and discovery) and I love that kids are sub-consciously learning about science while they play (physics when constructing a tower, and then the law of gravity when the blocks come tumbling down!). Whether they are home-made or shop-bought, blocks are a great toy for all ages. And world-famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright said his inspiration for Falling Water came from his love of playing with blocks as a child!
Lego was always my favourite toy as a child! I’d spend hours designing and building houses, and then keep them for months – not wanting my masterpieces destroyed! I kept my big box of lego, and my sons now love it too! Yes its a plastic toy, but it is so durable and lasts for YEARS, and still always fetches a high price if you’re willing to part with it! They even have Architectural lego sets for the grown-ups now too… I might put that on MY wishlist for Santa this year!
4. Architecture 3D Puzzles / Models
My son was given some of these great sets as gifts, and he loved constructing these world-famous buildings, and then being able to look up images online of the real deal! They’re made of cardboard/foam-core so are lightweight and the pieces just punch out and slot together with no scissors or glue required. They look very impressive once built, and were a big hit at school for “show and tell”!
5. Sketchbook and Pencils
Every little Architect loves drawing! So provide the materials they need to maintain their passion! The gift of a special sketchbook that can be used as a “Visual Diary” to be creative daily with their drawings is sure to be gratefully received. Stay away from colouring-books where the pictures are already drawn, and provide a blank canvas instead with no preconceptions about what ‘should’ be on the page. As a child, I desperately wanted a box set of Derwent pencils for a gift… finally one year I got the prized set and I finally felt I was a ‘real’ artist! I still have them (although some favourite colours are on the stubby side now), and my kids now use them too!
I think these ideas are great for fostering creativity and imagination for ALL children – not just those who have shown an interest in building and architecture! I’d love to hear your thoughts – don’t be shy – comment below.
What was your favourite toy as a kid? What do your kids love playing with? Do you think you may have a little architect in the making?
If you want to learn more about all things design, architecture, sustainability and healthy homes, please sign up to follow my blog by email (top right hand corner of this page).