How to Build a Model House for a School Project

How to Build a Model House for a School Project

School projects help children to learn through hands-on experiences. Children learn best when the project is meaningful to their lives. When a child can use his imagination to build the project, it becomes even more meaningful to his. Building model houses can be incorporated into math lessons, geography lessons, science, social studies and community living. Building model houses can be done as a group project or an individual project. This must be decided before you give out the assignment instructions.

  • Shoe box for each room
  • Crayons
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Paper clips
  • Toothpicks
  • Small match boxes
  • Kitchen match boxes
  • Toothpaste boxes
  • Spools of thread
  • Tissue paper
  • Catalog pages
  • Flat cardboard

1 Building a Shoebox House

Lay the shoebox with the long side down. The opening will face you so you can see inside the box.

Decide which room you are working on. Find where you want your room elements to be located. You may need a door to go outside, windows and doors to go from room to room. Mark these with your pencil.

Cut the doors open on the top, bottom and one side. The other side will be left so it will be a working door. Cut the windows out all the way around.

Color boxes and place them in the room for the furniture. Use kitchen match boxes for the beds. Toothpaste boxes for the couch. Small matchboxes can be glued together to make working dressers.

Place empty thread spools in the house for kitchen tables, end tables, bathroom sinks and night stands.

Use tissue paper for curtains and area rugs.

Decorate your windows by installing "window panes." These will be represented with toothpicks cut to size that can fit the length and width of your window.

Cut pictures of rugs, lamps and home accessories from the pages of catalogs. If you have a plant catalog, you may have pictures of shrubbery that can be used to decorate the outside of the house.

Assemble the rooms together using paper clips. Three or four paperclips per box will be necessary for a steady construction. You may need to cut additional doors to join the rooms.

You may choose to put a roof on your house with flat pieces of cardboard clipped onto the assembled shoe boxes.

  • Label the creator of each room before they are assembled.
  • If a group project is chosen, each child may build a different room of the house. The children can calculate the materials they need for roofing. Install lights and make them workable for a science project.

Jennifer Terry is program director for TriCounty Agency for Intellectual Disabilities. As a University of Alabama graduate, she holds a Masters in rehabilitation counseling and a Bachelor in psychology with an emphasis in child development. She also earned an Associate in business management and second Associate in computer information systems from Bevill State Community College. She holds a grant writing certificate from North Georgia College and State University.