Architecture for Kids


Architecture is a great way to teach children valuable lessons while they explore and create different structures. For kids, learning through hands-on activities can be an enriching experience.

With an architectural education, children can learn about geometry and design, gain problem-solving skills, and work on developing the skills to be able to create something from nothing.

Let’s dive into the basics of architecture for kids and how to get them started on their first project.

Overview of architecture

Architecture is the art and science of designing a structure that serves its purpose and utilizes the materials, methods, and technologies available. Architecture has been a part of human life since prehistory with dwellings such as igloos, stone houses, or desert tents. This type of architecture had to meet basic needs—protection from the environment, shelter from animals, and storage for food. As time progressed, so did architecture, with new innovations in materials (such as Dutch brick) allowing for more elaborate structures than ever before. Today’s architecture is a mix of traditions and modern advances including computer-aided designs.

Architecture involves the use of science to discover physical laws that govern our built environment; the use of mathematics to calculate loads on buildings; and engineering design skills such as structuring frames or providing support for tall buildings. Most importantly it combines all these aspects with aesthetic design – that is creating something beautiful as well as functional – using forms such as curves or geometric shapes to add visual interest. Understanding architectural principles helps to appreciate how cities are planned, why buildings have specific shapes or proportions, or how architectural style has changed though time.

History of Architecture

Architecture is an art form with a long and rich history that dates back to ancient civilizations. It is the practice of designing, constructing, and maintaining buildings and other structures, such as bridges and monuments.

In this section, we will explore the history of architecture and explain how it has evolved over the centuries.

Ancient architecture

The earliest civilizations are known for their impressive architectural accomplishments. Ancient architecture began in Mesopotamia and the surrounding regions with constructions such as ziggurats, massive religious temples with a flat roof and exterior staircases that symbolized mountains. Ancient Egyptian architecture was marked by massive structures like the Great Pyramid at Giza and the structures at Abu Simbel built by Ramses II and dedicated to the gods Horus and Amun Ra. In Ancient Greece, columns were used in both civic and religious buildings like Parthenon in Athens, while the Romans built grand civic centers such as Colosseum for social gatherings.

Ancient Chinese architecture has had a lasting influence on many architectural styles around the world. It is characterized by an emphasis on balance, symmetry, use of timber building materials, symmetry in decoration motifs with floral references (“shou”symbols), bright colors and intricate designs. In East Asia, wooden framework structure of traditional houses evolved over time into pagoda style building which took extensively elements from Buddhism Temple’s architectures.

In India Ancient Vedic Architecture marked its presence throughout different parts of country creating unique forms of temples dedicated to gods such as Śikhara Temples in South India or Jain Temples in Gujarat while Mosque architecture throughout India feature varieties of influences from different Islamic dynasties lead by Mughal emperors who reign during 16th century around Delhi province area also Characterized many temples styles along Hindu’s & Buddhism religions such as Kutub Minar or Taj Mahal which took extensively influence from Mughal’s arabesque decorations & motives fusioned through Islamic Maharajas court culture.

Modern architecture

Modern architecture is a style that began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Led by pioneers such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, this style marked a departure from traditional architecture by relying heavily on materials such as glass, steel and concrete.

Modern architecture is characterized by a reliance on simple geometric designs and unadorned surfaces. It also includes an emphasis on functionality rather than ornamentation and emphasizes functionality over aesthetics. This type of design was initially used for industrial projects, such as the revolutionary Parisian Galeries Lafayette department store in 1912.

During this period, other famous architectural landmarks were built with the intention of creating iconic modern structures yearned after by potential customers or residents. These designs included New York City’s Chrysler Building (1930) that incorporated Art Deco ornamentation with modernism’s sleek steel design; the Seagram Building (1958), notable for its glass walls; Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House (1945) with its minimalist arrangement centered around open spaces; Mies’s Neue Nationalgalerie (1968) located in Berlin’s historical Kulturforum area to demonstrate further his concepts of austerity; and Eero Saarinen’s 1962 Gateway Arch located in St. Louis designed to symbolize America’s expanding spirit of progressiveness during the 1960s space race against Russia’s efforts toward conquering outer space flight technology first hand before any other nation could do so.

Types of Architecture

Architecture has been around since the dawn of civilisation, and it can be a great way to introduce your children to the wider world.

There are different types of architecture, like residential, industrial, and commercial, that your children can explore.

In this article, we’ll go through the different aspects of architecture and how children can use them.

Residential architecture

Residential architecture is the design and construction of homes and other structures that are meant for people to live in. Houses, apartments, condominiums, mobile/manufactured homes and other dwellings are all forms of residential architecture. Different types of architecture have been used around the world and in many different eras throughout history.

Traditional residential building types can be classified by their form or style, such as Victorian, colonial or modern minimalist. Modern home designs often use advances in building materials and technology from industries like aerospace engineering. Additionally, sustainable or eco-friendly building materials may be integrated to decrease environmental impacts from residential buildings.

The layout and floorplan of a home also play an important role in its design. For example, some modern homes may feature open-concept designs that keep spaces connected for better flow of movement through larger rooms. Other homes may feature creative and efficient uses of space where small rooms are maximized for efficiency without sacrificing livability or comfort.

Finally, there are many heights and sizes of residential structures ranging from single family homes to multi-story apartments depending on the type of lifestyle desired by the homeowner. Residential architecture has evolved over time with new trends continuing to emerge along with technology advances while traditional designs never cease to remain timeless classics.

Commercial architecture

Commercial architecture is the design of buildings with the primary purpose of making a profit. It involves designing retail stores, restaurants, and corporate office buildings for promoting sales, services and products. The goal of commercial architects is to create appealing designs that will attract more customers, who will then buy the client’s products and/or services.

The most important consideration in designing commercial spaces is maximizing aesthetic appeal, as it often directly affects how well clients can sell their particular product or service. The use of color and form play an essential role in this type of architecture. Colors should be bright and bold to attract attention while forms should often appear simple but dynamic to draw eyes inward towards the interior spaces.

In addition to maximizing aesthetic appeal, commercial architectures must also consider other factors, such as energy efficiency, sustainability, accessibility regulations and cost effectiveness. The materials used for construction must be chosen carefully in order to ensure that all requirements for safety are fulfilled while also minimizing operational costs over the life-cycle of the building.

Buildings within the realm of commercial architecture come in various sizes and with various functions depending on the needs of each individual client. Examples include retail stores, supermarkets or shopping centers; banks; large corporate offices; convention centers; hotels; amusement parks; bars or pubs; government buildings such as libraries or post offices, among others. All these types require careful planning in order to create a desirable space that will exceed expectations both functionally and aesthetically.

Religious architecture

Religious architecture is a type of architecture that focuses on the design and construction of places of worship. These places may include churches, mosques, synagogues and temples. Architects design these structures with a strong focus on creating sacred spaces that communicate the spiritual beliefs of different faith traditions.

Common features in religious architecture include steeples, domes, arches, stained glass windows and belfries. This type of architecture not only serves to create a place for religious observance but also is often seen as an art form within its own right, providing a unique visual representation of faith traditions and societies from around the world.

Architectural Elements

Architects use several elements when developing plans for a building. These elements include materials, colors, textures, and visual elements. Understanding these elements can help introduce children to the basics of architecture.

In this article, we will explore these elements and cover how to use them in teaching young kids the power of design.


In architecture, “line” refers to the shape or contours of a structure. This shape, which is created by connecting two points with a straight edge, is typically represented in architecture by horizontal and vertical lines. As the alignment of linear elements can convey feelings of balance and stability, architects often use them to create harmonious compositions.

The property of line that emphasizes direction is referred to as directional line, one of two distinct types of line designations used in architecture. Directional lines appear to lead the eye along an implied path created by their directionality and are typically seen in Gothic arch designs or flowing curves depicted on a portico or entryway. The second type of line designation commonly found in architecture is non-directional lines which refer to simpler lines that appear static regardless their placement within the overall design. These generally consist of bolder verticals and horizontals such as columns or windows that exist without influencing its viewers in any particular direction — they simply emphasize visual presence without adding extra movement to the composition.

Generally speaking, it’s essential for an architectural feature to convey a certain amount of movement or energy to its viewers if it’s supposed to evoke feelings associated with motion and progress — something very common in traditional structures. No matter how straight a line appears on paper, if curved elements are also included within an overall design then it will still create a sense of motion for anyone viewing it from any given angle — especially when bright colors are incorporated into the architectural scheme as well!


In architecture, shape refers to the external two-dimensional form of a structure. A shape in architecture is defined by its boundaries, which can be composed of lines, curves, arcs and circles. These shapes are often used repetitively throughout a design and may be combined in what is known as a “composite” or “multiple” shape. For example, the rectangle is a very common shape used in many architectural designs; however, it can also be combined with other shapes such as the circle to create an entirely new design such as an elliptical window.

Shapes are important for creating visual interest and drawing attention to certain elements within a structure’s design. In addition to giving form to an object or space, shapes create different atmospheres for people occupying or visiting the building. A curved wall might increase intimacy compared with rectilinear forms that enclose a smaller space and define boundaries between furniture and other architectural features.

Common examples of basic shapes seen in architecture include: triangles, squares/rectangles (including variations like parallelograms and rhomboids), circles/ellipses (including ovals), and polygons (such as pentagons). These simple shapes can be broken down into more complex ones; for example, ellipses can be divided into quarter-circles or rectangles into small tiles that break up the overall pattern into individual parts. Although there are innumerable combinations of various shapes when designing buildings, modern makers tend to opt for simpler solutions by recombining primary figures rather than creating something truly original.


One of the most important elements of architecture is texture. Texture happens when surfaces come together and can be felt by sight or touch. Generally, the main texture distinguishes between smooth, rough and materials with an in-between finish like stone or timber. The appropriate use of texture within a building depends on its purpose and its surroundings.

When it comes to residential dwellings, a lot of emphasis is placed on textures that help create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere – often through the use involving softer surfaces like painted walls, textiles or carpets. This can be seen in areas such as bedrooms and living rooms, where people typically spend more time indoors than out. Comfortable furnishings go hand-in-hand with creating a warmer atmosphere which is why some interior designers use wood surfaces to provide more of an organic feeling. Similarly, stone slabs are used extensively in walkways and driveways because they provide traction along with decorative flair.

In public locations such as shopping areas, malls or airports people have different expectations than residential dwellings so they often opt for smoother surfaces such as tiles or marble as this creates a sense of refinement combined with convenience when cleaning these surfaces. Industrial buildings tend to combine both smooth and rough textures depending on certain factors such as safety requirements needed for outdoor premises which protects visitors from slipping when walking around these sites.

Texture can no doubt make all the difference to any building so it requires thorough consideration from the planning stage throughout all phases of construction up to completion of works during fitouts.*


Color is one of the most basic architectural elements. It can be used to shape space, structure, and form into compositions. The impact of color can greatly enhance the architectural realm. By introducing color, both in light and substance, architects are able to create personal experiences with an emotional response. Color helps establish identity within a building as well as its surroundings.

Colors within architecture can affect us from being completely unaware or providing an emotional connection with a space or form. Choosing specific hues can have the ability to influence emotion and stimulate physiological responses from the viewer. Colors may reflect cultures and regions, which provides texture that is unique and individualized for each project in both visible light and UV radiation spaces.

Various qualities come into play when selecting colors for architecture such as conveying authenticity or providing historical accuracy of a space sequence or symbolism necessary to introduce tradition into new structures without appearing dated or dulled by age. As many cultures still use vibrant colors like cobalt blue and gold yellow throughout very old buildings, these colors remain constant symbols year after year signifying culture over time. Utilizing hue to modernize a new building with its ancient tradition should be weighed heavily in every application of coloration for any piece of architecture created today with an eye towards the future generations of tomorrow who will admire it for its contemporary beauty.

Activities for Kids

Architecture is a great way to get kids engaging their creative potential while learning about how a building is built. There are many engaging activities parents and teachers can do with kids to help them learn more about architecture.

From designing their own dream house to exploring a nearby construction site, there are plenty of activities that can help kids explore the world of architecture.

Let’s take a look at some of these activities.

Create a 3D model

Creating 3D models is a fun and rewarding activity for kids that requires planning, measuring, and problem solving. Not only do they get to design their own structure, they can also use materials like paper, clay, popsicle sticks and cardboard to construct it.

To start the project, discuss with your child what kind of structure they would like to make. This could be a model of their home or a building in your neighborhood. Spend some time with them looking at examples of architecture online or in books for inspiration. Brainstorm ideas about what materials can be used to create the model and sketch out several outlines of potential designs. Consider if there are any techniques such as folding or cutting that could be used to make the job easier.

Once your child has decided upon a plan of attack, help them gather their materials together and organize everything by size or shape so construction goes more quickly and smoothly later on. If they require specific measurements while creating their model (cutting paper into squares), have scissors ready as well as rulers, tape measures or non-marking pencils for marking shapes on paper or cardboard if needed.

Once the construction phase is complete encourage your child to take time admiring their creation from different angles before finally displaying it on a shelf or somewhere else where it can be seen! 3D models created by kids can provide interesting conversation starters when visitors come over and also give parents an unobstructed view into how their children view architecture!

Design a building

Designing a building is an activity that children of all ages can do to learn the basics of architecture. This activity is a great way to introduce your kids to the world of architecture while helping them gain problem-solving skills and creativity.

To start, gather extra cardboard boxes and other recyclables (e.g. cereal boxes, paper towel tubes etc.). You can also use craft supplies such as construction paper, paint, markers etc. Once you have everything ready help your child draw their building layout on the cardboard with a marker and then start cutting pieces for the walls and floors. Use tape or glue for additional support when putting every piece together.

Then, it’s time for some decorations! Kids may opt for using markers or paints to color their building exterior or interior walls and floors. Encourage kids to be creative with decorations such as designing shutters for windows or adding furniture inside the house made out of recyclable materials you can find around your house (e.g., old CDs). At this stage they may also want to include walkways in-between different structures they create or draw a park with trees and birds – anything goes!

This could be an ongoing project that allows your children to hone their problem-solving abilities while having fun in mixing paper items with crafts supplies resulting in beautiful artwork!

Draw a blueprint

Learning about architecture for kids can be a fun and engaging activity. By introducing concepts such as design, structure, scale, and elements of architecture, youngsters will be able to explore their creativity in a structured way.

One activity that will help open up a conversation about these topics is to have your child draw an outline of their dream house or other building. Explain to them the basics of blueprints, which can include walls, doors, windows and furniture for scale to get them started on the project.

As they progress with the task, point out design features like columns and arches or special details such as balcony railings or window boxes. Depending on the complexity of the project they have chosen, they may even be able to add detailed items such as built-in bookcases or skylights. Making this type of blueprint with graph paper can also introduce basic math concepts like fractions and equivalents in a fun way with tangible results!


By introducing architecture to your children, you are encouraging them to be more creative and curious, while thinking outside the box. They learn how buildings work, how they interact with nature and how they impact our environment. Architecture also helps build problem-solving skills, as children gain an understanding of geometry and architecture techniques.

By making it fun and accessible, your child will not only learn about the world around them but enjoy it too. Whether you get them involved in a hands-on architecture project or take the time to explain what goes into designing a building and all of its components, you can help foster their interest in architecture from a young age.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is architecture for kids?

A: Architecture for kids is a way of introducing children to the world of architecture. It helps children develop an understanding of the built environment and encourages them to explore their own creative potential as they design and build structures.

Q: What are the benefits of architecture for kids?

A: Architecture for kids helps children develop skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. It also encourages creativity, as children are given the opportunity to use their imagination when designing and building structures. Additionally, it helps children learn about the impact of the built environment on their lives.

Q: What materials are needed for architecture for kids?

A: Materials needed for architecture for kids vary depending on the activity, but usually include things like cardboard, paper, tape, scissors, glue, markers, and other craft materials. It’s also important to have enough space to build the structures and the tools necessary to construct them.

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