Children's Museum of South Dakota

The Building Square


Forts and Houses Abound

Learn how people everywhere are more alike than different by making connections between your own home and how people live around the world.

In The Building Square, you create your very own Construction Zone and design the interior of a house. Tools for building are plentiful, challenging children's fine motor and gross motor skills, as well as spatial abilities.

Throughout Imagine a House, children engage in cooperative play and explore properties of building, such as shape, size, weight, and quantity. Children will gain a sense of how one's self-identity is shaped through the culture — music, food, games — and traditions of where they live.


Learn more about these topics through the books below.

Many of these books are at the Brookings Public Library.

Ages 3-6

Alphabet Under Construction, Denise Fleming

Ages 6-8

Dorling Kindersley Readers. 2, Beginning to Read Alone, "Amazing Buildings", Kate Hayden
Let's-Read-and-Find-out Science. Stage 2, "The International Space Station", Franklyn Mansfield Branley
DK Readers. Level 1, "Big Machines", Karen Wallace
DK Readers. Nivel 1, "Gigantes de Hierro", Primeros Pasos, Karen Wallace
A True Book, "Skyscrapers", Elaine Landau
Seemore Readers "Bridges", Seymour Simon
Construction Zone, Cheryl Willis Hudson & Richard Sobol
Monsters on Machines, Deb Lund & Robert Neubecker
Building, Elisha Cooper
Arty Facts, "Structures, Materials and Art Activities", Barbara Taylor

Ages 9-12

Eyewitness Books, "Building", Philip Wilkinson & Dave King
Merit Badge Series 33304, "Architecture"
Merit Badge Series 33376A, "Engineering"
Building America, "The Gateway Arch", Craig Doherty
Sky Boy: How They Built the Empire State Building, Deborah Hopkinson & James E. Ransome
Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself, Maxine Anderson
Parthenon, Lynn Curlee
DK Eyewitness Books, "Pyramids", James Putnam & Geoff Brightling
Discovering Careers for Your Future Series, "Construction", Ferguson*
Round Buildings, Square Buildings & Buildings That Wiggle Like a Fish, Philip Isaacson
Underground, David Macaulay 


*At the time of writing, these books were not found at the Brookings Library.