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Beautiful Stuff: Building and Connecting Towers


In this activity, you will build several sculptures and explore different ways to connect them, using 3-dimensional objects you find at home.

Grade Levels

PreK – 2



Theme/ Big Idea

What makes something 3-dimensional?

Essential Question

What can you do with interesting objects?

  • Unit & Lessons
  • Video
  • Slide Deck

Materials and Tools

  • A collection of 3D objects found in your home (suggestions can be found in Lesson 1)
  • A piece of cardboard for a base – this can be cut from any box
  • Optional: camera or paper and pencil to photograph or draw your arrangements


Step 1: Sorting by Shape

Before you start, you can sort your objects to get ready to build. 

It might be helpful to sort them by shape.

Rectangles and Long Shapes

Step 2: Sorting by Size

You can also sort them by size.


Step 3: Building – Stacking

How can you build with your objects to make a tall sculpture?

You can stack and balance your objects. Remember that you can put wider pieces on the bottom to make a strong foundation for your sculpture. Then, you can keep building up.

Step 4: Building – Stacking and Balancing to Make Towers

How can you make more tall stacks using your objects? What do these stacks remind you of? They could be buildings, or the towers of a castle.

Step 5: Building – Connecting Stacks of Objects

What if these were life-sized towers and you wanted to
get from one to the other? How can you connect these towers?

You can use long flat objects, like craft sticks, to make a bridge between your stacks. How will you get them to balance and stay in place?

Step 6: Building – Connecting Stacks of Objects: Another Way

If one stack is taller than the other, you can lift up some of the objects and put your craft stick under them to make a bridge.

Step 7: Building – Connecting and Leaning

How many bridges can
you make to connect your towers? The bridges can become little walkways to go across and get from one tower to the other.

You can also try leaning some objects to connect your towers. How can you imagine moving across or down these ramps or slides?

Step 8: Looking from Different Angles

Once you’re done, move around your sculpture to look at it from different angles.

Which angle is your favorite way to look at your sculpture? Why?

Up Close
From Above

Step 9: Reflection

How did you make the different parts of your sculpture? 

How did you connect them?

If you have a camera, you can take a picture of your sculpture. Or you can always draw it.


Written by Andrea Burgay, Associate Director of Curriculum and Programs 
With support from Julie Applebaum, Senior Director and Sassy Kohlmeyer, Director of Early Childhood Programs 
Hasna Muhammad, Ed.D., Chair, Board of Directors, Studio in a School Association 
Alison Scott-Williams, President, Studio in a School NYC

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