In this list of 21 construction games and activities for kids, there's something for all ages to try. Many of the block-building games and engineering games can be modified. Moreover, they have been categorized into developmentally appropriate activities for elementary, middle school, and high school age kids.
From addicting games like Minecraft and Minute to Win It, to sailboat making and fort building, this list inspires creativity, fun, and learning. Read on to find a mix of construction games to choose from!
1. Building Bridges
This bridge-building game is perfect for beginners. Using empty paper rolls and cardboard, enjoy figuring out how to make a bridge that stands upright on its own. To make this fun building activity even better, roll cars across the bridge once it's built to test it out.
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2. Hammer Time
Remember those hammering toys from the 1980s? The ones where kids pounded wooden pegs into holes in a board? This game for kids has been inspired by that old classic. To make it more child friendly, use floral foam bricks and golf tees to develop young engineer's fine motor skills--and aim! Children who have seen adults in the family use tools around the house will love feeling like they're doing the same!
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3. Clips and sticks: building a tall structure
This construction party game uses sticks and clothes pins to race to the top. Instead of timer-setting and rushing the"process", try to build in different directions--not only seeing how tall but also how wide the structure can get.
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4. Clay and Wood Block Structures
This construction activity uses moldable clay as mortar between "bricks" to experiment with building structures. Does the clay help or hinder the process? What else could be created with these two materials?
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5. Construct a Swimming Pool
Brainstorm a list of household materials to use for a mini swimming pool (no bowls!). See what ideas come up for framing around the pool to give it shape. Elementary school kids will love the trial and error of this building game on a rainy day.
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6. Make a Sand Structure that Stays
The classic game of sandcastle-building gets an upgrade. By mixing cornstarch with sand, you'll get a structure that won't collapse, but harden. The masterpiece can be painted and kept on display.
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7. Wrecking Ball
Make some easy "box block walls" and start demolishing. Using a variety of tools--like inflatable hammers or basketballs-- let kids plow through the wall to tear it down and rebuild it again and again. Construction party games like this get kids experimenting with ways to create and repair.
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Build, pull things apart, and apply engineering skills. This STEAM construction game for kids is a great way to create a maker space where there isn't room for one. Online activities are space savers!
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9. Stacking Nuts Minute to Win It
Using competition to motivate and entertain takes kids party games to another level. This isn't a construction activity with a finished product at the end, but it is a great way to explore a variety of tools. Stack as many nuts as possible in one minute and get the most to win! Or, use bolts with the nuts and see how many can be taken apart within the time limit.
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10. Sailing Stick Boat
Have a day outdoors and use fallen sticks from trees to make a sailboat. How will the sticks be lashed together to form the boat or raft? How can the sail be mounted? Can any pennies be carried across the kiddie pool on the sailing creation?
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11. Egg drop challenge
A great team building game for kids--in edition to being an engineering game--is the egg drop. Each team gets an egg to protect from a high fall. This game of construction requires teamwork, innovation, and a little bit of luck! As an extension, have failing teams tweak their builds and try again.
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12. Building Bunkbeds in Minecraft
Minecraft is popular and infinitely engaging for young builders. Middle school kids likely have some experience with this game. Using simple blocks and tools this game teaches survival skills, elements, farming--you name it! Once one has the hang of building and removing blocks--embellishments can be added to simple home structures. Try out this bunk bed building challenge.
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13. Extra Large "Jenga"
This construction party game has been around for a long time now, but it never gets old--especially when you super-size the blocks and play outside! Middle school kids will love playing this challenging skill game for as long as they can before too many blocks have been taken from the bottom and placed on the top.
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14. Lego Landmarks
Choose a card and try this fun building game. Legos are a classic game and making landmarks out of them challenges the builder to think like an engineer and copy some of the greatest architecture in the world.
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15. Pool Noodle Fort-Building
Using nothing but some duct tape, pool noodles and a sheet or two, construct a fort for your little brother or sister! Be everyone's favorite babysitter when they see the building you've done.
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16. Real Construction Simulator on Google Play
A bridge building game (and more) where high school age kids can learn the essential steps to building different structures. Broken into smaller tasks, the construction themed game is a must for future creators.
Learn More: Google Play
17. Disaster Island Lego (or any other building materials) Challenge
Another construction game for kids, this involves the fun building activity of making an island, and solving problems related to natural disasters. A great thing about this game?--perfect for using a variety of tools and materials beyond Legos.
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18. The Barrel Roll
This barrel roll challenge could be the toughest one on the list! Building a rolling "raft" out of a piece of plywood, try to cross a large area without falling! Kids work on this team building exercise to pull a barrel from behind and place it in front.
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19. Minecraft City Building
Use everyone's favorite addictive game to create your own city--or replicate the one you live in! Try as many times as you need to to build your designs lifelike, and add on over time.
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20. The "Leaning Tower of Feetza"
This team building exercise will inspire talking and laughing while working together to build the tallest tower out of shoes! Shoes are the only building material permitted, and the tower may not lean on anything in order to stand upright.
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21. Become a Part of the Instagram Challenge Group @engineering.tomorrow
Engineering tomorrow was created during the COVID-19 pandemic as a solution to online learning and STEAM curriculum. It has grown into a popular way to learn and practice engineering and design skills. And what teenager doesn't love an Instagram challenge?
Learn More: Engineering Tomorrow