Monday, November 28, 2016


Construction Truck STEM: Building Beams

What starts with construction trucks, ties in a construction picture book, and ends with a building project? This Construction Truck STEM Challenge!

We started our construction theme just before Thanksgiving this year, and are loving it! Some of our past construction activities included a construction sensory activity, a construction themed letter and number game, and this construction truck names lesson and mini-poster!

We've been using Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site as an anchor for our construction activities since it is the Virtual Book Club book for the week! The picture below is an Amazon affiliate link:

We looked through the book and found all the pictures of tall buildings and bridges that were partially built. We focused on how the tall beams were supported in cement. We also looked at some of the designs and patterns in the beams of bridges and buildings.

Next we talked about some of the bridges the kids knew about. We looked at pictures of the San Francisco bridge and listened to a song about it online. We also learned that it is more than a mile long!  A few days later we drove over a bridge in Baton Rouge that wenr over the Mississippi river, and looked for characteristics of the bridges that we discovered during this activity.

Finally I challenged my kids to use peel and stick craft sticks to build a bridge that could hold up one of their cars. I supplied a pile of craft sticks (ours were provided by Craft Project Ideas), a block of wood to represent cement, and a thin piece of cardboard to top the bridge with. If I were doing this with my older kids we would have used normal craft sticks asks hot glue, but the sticky craft sticks had one sticky end and were perfect for my 3-6 year olds.

Simple Supplies: block of wood, thin piece of cardboard, toy car, peel and stick craft sticks

The kids were super excited to get to work! They experimented with different designs, tried different weights, and made up stories to go with their bridges. It was amazing to watch!

My son even used one of his trucks to transport the "beams."

This design held the Tonka truck, but my son decided to put some weights on the Tonka truck and the bridge couldn't hold them. So he started over...

The peel and stick "beams" actually created a special challenge because only one side was sticky.

In the end this design held both the Tonka truck and weights stacked on top of it!

STEM projects have become very popular lately because we are recognizing that children learn better when subjects are integrated. STEM projects integrate four subjects: science, technology, engineering, and math.

This lesson uses the STEM subjects AND adds in literacy and art!

Science: science process skills like planning, hypothesizing, and experimenting

Technology: computer, internet

Engineering: designing and creating a bridge

Math: counting beams as you work, predicting how many you'll need, colors, shapes

Literacy: Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site

Art: designing a colorful bridge

We are sharing this activity as a cohost for the Virtual Book Club this week!! You can get ideas for loads of preschool activities to go with construction themes from this week's cohosts! Be sure to stop by the Weekly Virtual Book Club Facebook page to join in all the fun!

Preschool Construction Activities:

Alphabet Activities

Name Activities

Truck Play Dough Name Activity- JDaniel4's Mom

Counting Activities
Construction Site Build and Count - Inspiration Laboratories
Number Construction Site - Adventures of Adam 

Sensory Activities

Cooking Activities

Science Activities
Construction Site Brain Breaks- Sugar Aunts

Shape Activities
Construction Truck and Equipment Puzzles - Kori at Home

Amazon Affiliate Links:

Disclosure: Craft Project Ideas provided the peel and stick craft sticks for us to use in any activity we saw fit. All activities and ideas are mine.

Happy Educating,

Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!

I may share at any of these parties!

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Growing Book by Book said...

My kids will have so much fun with this. Thank you for sharing.

Rainy Day Mum said...

What a great activity and using different materials and increasing the knowledge you can extend it all the way through to High School Students.

Clare's Little Tots said...

I haven't seen those peel and stick craft sticks before they look great. What a fun way to learn :-)