Housebuilding for Children

Step-by-Step Guides for Houses Children Can Build Themselves

Lester Walker

Preface by Nonny Hogrogian



For me, one of the most attractive things about Waldorf Education is that toward the end of 3rd Grade “housebuilding” is part of the curriculum. When I first read this, I could hardly wait for our children to reach 3rd grade so that they could experience some of the joy I had at that age.

When I was 8-10, my family lived in a home that backed up to an untended field filled with high-growing grasses. With the help of nocturnal creatures we never saw, we children discovered pathways and little “rooms” in the grass, quickly caught on to the process, and set about making house after house that we played in year after year (building them afresh each season by crawling to make paths and lying about to create the “rooms”). Once we had conquered the art of grassy housebuilding, we moved on to large trees where we discovered in our imaginations all manner of houses in the large and leafy branches. This was a period of almost rapturous play and discovery in my life — and one that I knew could be reflected in the housebuilding blocks of a Waldorf 3rd Grade, even though at the time my children lived far from the wide open spaces I had enjoyed as a child.

What I love about Housebuilding for Children is that it is not about creating the perfect playhouse for children to play in, it is about guiding children to build their own houses, with only enough adult supervision to be sure that safety is part of the process. The houses range from ultra-imaginative super-low budget projects (using discarded materials such as a mattress innerspring or an old dresser), to an actual wood-frame house whose charm is enhanced by the fact that it really can be built by children, given a bit of instruction.

This is a wonderful book that offers children adventure and discovery, and offers the adults who teach them the guidance needed to convey basic building skills to their students. Happily, it is again in print. We are delighted to bring it to you.

Be the first to write a review

Comments feed for this article