At our Waldorf school, it’s a rite of passage for the 3rd graders to build model houses to culminate their house building block. The students research and pick a house to build (from anywhere in the world) and parents and siblings are invited to help build the house–complete with a landscape, people who live in the house and a couple animals.
This year my son chose to make a Mongolian yurt. I have to admit that I encouraged him to use the abundant stash of wool that I have and he really took it to heart. A yurt is basically a wooden frame traditionally covered in handmade wool felt. (perfect!) He then wanted to needle felt his people and animals with more wool…
My son said his favorite part of making the yurt was drilling popsicle sticks and figuring out how to make the frame and roof work. I think that he might be an architect or engineer one day because he really came up with some novel solutions. The needle felting wasn’t the easiest for a 3rd grader, but once I helped build the base, he could pretty easily do the rest.
All of his classmates did a great job on their houses and it was amazing to see all of the hard work. Following are a few pictures of the Waldorf 3rd grade house building projects. Hopefully they will inspire you and your children to do this as a summer or homeschooling project!