The 10 Best Architecture Project Books for Kids

Fun, Educational Projects and Activities for Children of All Ages

two young girls working in an activity book
Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images (cropped)

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Any youngster can become an architect or an engineer — all it takes is simple household materials and a creative mind. The books listed here are brimming with activities and projects that explore the world of building and design. Whether used for school or play, each page opens the door to learning.

For ages 10 and older, Projects and Principles for Beginning Engineers & Architects explains the structural engineering behind buildings, from caves and tents to skyscrapers. Dr. Mario Salvadori's thought-provoking projects simplify the complex and answer a lot of the "why" questions about buildings and construction. Other well-known books by Salvadori include Why Buildings Stand Up: The Strength of Architecture and Why Buildings Fall Down: How Structures Fail.

Younger children will learn about basic construction principles as they build their own small houses and structures. This colorful book has simple illustrations, building plans, and playhouse ideas.

You'll need a knife, ruler, and some patience, but the Eiffel Tower wasn't built in a day either. Fold-It-Yourself Buildings and Structures has 20 templates to get the origami architect going.
The Sydney Opera House? Petronas Towers? The Chrysler Building? All without glue? Canadian designer Sheung Yee Shing has been practicing the art of folding paper for decades, and now he wants you to try.

From the Kaleidoscope Kids series, this fact-filled paperback has photos of famous bridges, an appendix of important bridges around the world, facts about the history and science of bridges, and plenty of projects using simple materials like cereal boxes.

Geared for kids in middle school and high school, this book is packed with ideas for projects and experiments that encompass science, math, geography, engineering, and architecture. As they read and build, kids will learn fascinating concepts of designing highways, bridges, railroads, waterways, and utilities.

For kids and teens who love art, here are step-by-step instructions for drawing the Empire State Building, the Taj Mahal, and other world-famous buildings. Also, find facts about building structure and basic concepts of architectural design.

Can you really learn perspective from a computer program? Traditionalists still depend on pencil and tracing paper to teach the basics. Author Daniel K. Reif points out right on the cover of this spiral-bound book that "Drawing is Thinking."

Don't forget the child who may love interior design. The Doodle Design & Draw series by Dover has one on DREAM ROOMS by Ellen Christiansen Kraft and the tried and true Home Quick Planner gives that peel and stick flavor to any project.

"Sketching has been a passion of mine since I was a teenager, and it was this that really motivated me to write Archidoodle," author/architect Steve Bowkett told The Telegraph in 2014. "The idea of it is to encourage people to sketch their ideas while learning about different aspects of architecture." This 160 page paperback, published in 2013, may be most appropriate for the savvy teenager — or mum and dad.

Subtitled Architectural Ideas, Inspiration and Colouring In, this book is another by the French illustrator Thibaud Herem. Described by the author as an "interactive colouring book," Draw Me A House seems to be a delightfully intelligent children's book for kids smart enough to know good architecture when they draw it.