No summer camp this year? Looking for fun, educational activities for kids that will engage their minds and bodies, stimulate their imaginations, and even teach them about architecture and the world around them?
Check out Michigan Architectural Foundation’s Architecture: it’s Elementary and ArchiTreks programs. Both are available online and feature hands-on, architecture-related activities that can be done with parents or siblings, during the summer, or anytime. (see both programs in action on MAF’s educational YouTube channel, ‘Architecture for Youth’).
Oh, and both programs are FREE of charge!
∙ Architecture: it’s Elementary! is a multi-disciplinary educational curriculum designed to introduce students from kindergarten through grade five to architecture and the built environment. Developed by Michigan architects (with input from educators), the curriculum provides kids with critical STEAM-related learning opportunities, through lessons and activities that engage their minds, bodies, and imaginations. Activities include acting out structures, measuring, learning about animal habitats, drawing from memory, and putting on a play that imagines how cities began.
MAF’s Architecture for Youth YouTube Channel features an Architecture: it’s Elementary! program overview video, and a video that demonstrates lessons in action in a real classroom. Lessons can be done at home with family members, or remotely, in a Zoom session with friends or educators, or (in the future) as part of classroom, summer, or after school program. Download the free program guidebook and lessons here.
∙ ArchiTreks is a program aimed at getting kids excited about architecture, science, and engineering through segments that take kids on neighborhood adventures to explore shapes, structures, landmarks, and preservation, and pique curiosity about their surroundings.
Created by MAF in partnership with Detroit Public Television (DPTV), each of the four ArchiTreks video segments on MAF’s Architecture for Youth YouTube Channel feature fun activities that can be done at home or on a neighborhood walk with parents, siblings, or (in the future) with friends. Along the way, kids can discover architectural treasures, and learn more about gravity’s role in architecture, architecture’s role in their neighborhoods, and more.
Visit the ‘Resources for Kids’ page on MAF’s website for additional information on both programs. Libraries and others offering summer, after-school or community enrichment programs for children are welcome to utilize both Architecture: it’s Elementary and ArchiTreks as part of their programming. Teachers and educational administrators also are invited to include Architecture: it’s Elementary within their educational curriculums; see the lesson plans for additional information.
Studies show thought processes that nurture creativity and critical thinking begin at a young age. Both MAF’s Architecture: it’s Elementary! and ArchiTreks were designed to help foster those processes, through quality architecture-based interactive learning experiences and fun activities kids want to engage in.