No study of architecture and engineering would be complete without talking about the Great Pyramids. Egyptian architecture is as mesmerizing in the 21st century as it must have been mystifying when they were constructed. And thanks to Bubble Guppies, a subject of great fascination to my preschool and toddler too!
Egyptian Architecture for Kids
The Story of Buildings is not your typical children’s book. It’s beautiful enough to sit on a formal living room coffee table – but my kids LOVE it. With artistic, detailed hand drawn renderings and dissections of the world’s most famous buildings, Big M (age 4) will sit with it for hours, looking at all the details. After all our Architecture and Engineering activities, she loves pointing out all the features of buildings we have already learned about.
Of all the depictions, she was most fascinated by the section on the Egyptian Pyramids and temples. And so, last week, we decided to build our own pyramids!
Sugar Cube Pyramids
The pyramids were constructed of massive stone blocks, stacked layer by layer. And so were ours – of slightly smaller sugar blocks.
Yellow food coloring
Cost: Less than $5
Prep Time: Less than 5 minutes
Clean-Up Time: Less than 5 minutes
These are my favorite kind of projects – nearly free, requiring little time for set-up or clean-up, and engaging for at least 30 minutes, sometimes longer if I’m lucky! You can find sugar cubes in the baking aisle at the grocery store – I considered buying brown sugar cubes, since they looked more pyramid-like, but at 3x the price, I opted for the cheaper white sugar cubes and decided it would be an added fine motor skill challenge to color them ourselves!
Building a Pyramid
I put down a tray on the craft table for the girls to build on and contain all the sugar cubes. We started by examining the cross section of the pyramid from The Story of Buildings, and how it was really layers of individual blocks. My preschooler got to work building and stacking.
She started with a small pyramid, then wanted to go bigger.
Then, it was time to make it look even more like the Egyptian pyramids by coloring our white sugar cubes yellow. I combined water with 10-15 drops of food coloring, and the girls used their fine motor skills to color the cubes, one by one, with an eye dropper. This added a little science to the fun too – as Lil’ M (age 2) – soon observed she could smash the cubes as the water began to dissolve the sugar.
More Architecture and Engineering Fun for Kids
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out Making Monuments and get your free monument printables to turn your building blocks into famous buildings. Check out the entire Architecture and Engineering for Kids series to date, and follow our STEM for Kids – Engineering board on Pinterest to find all of them and more from our friends around the web!
Let’s Build Up!
Want more great construction ideas for kids? Check out my latest collaborative ebook: Up! Featuring 30+ STEM challenge ideas to transform your child’s block play into an endless, hands-on learning center. Download your ebook today and get more than 100 pages of printables to go alongside the activities included. Get yours today from the Playground Parkbench store.