Introducing your Children to Architecture – Why and How?

Do your children love to build towers, cities or playgrounds ? Do they play with legos, blocks, or doll houses ? Maia Tarassoff is an architect and mother of two children (age 6 and 9). She started Petit Architect in 2017 with the mission to make architecture more accessible to children and youth. Her goal to inspire and help them become more educated and involved within their cities.
She talks about why we need to introduce architecture to children and how we can easily do so.

Help you children to become aware of their built environment
Architecture and Design are all around us, in fact, everything that wasn’t made by mother nature was conceptualised, designed, drawn by … a person. That is a powerful concept that can open children’s minds to look at their surroundings with a new perspective!

Teach them to think outside the box
Design thinking is a process for creative problem solving. It’s asking the right questions, creating innovative solutions, testing, experimenting, prototyping… Once their is a problem, there is an opportunity to solve it. There is no right or wrong, no absolute answer, as it leads to experimenting and critical thinking. It’s very much like real life in that way.

Invite them to learn with their hands
Imaginary play and hands-on learning are so important in our digital times ! In fact, some children need to touch materials to learn best, this is the base of many alternative educations like Montessori, Steiner or Waldorf to name a few.
Cutting, gluing, painting, drawings…. are skills that matter and need not be forgotten as they are very useful in a design career, however, these skills are less and less taught in our regular schools.

Here are 10 ways to introduce your children to architecture and encourage design thinking:-

  1. Build a fort, a tree house, a bridge, a tent…. let your child idealise, test, make mistakes and start over. Learn about structures and construction first hand.
  2. Measure with your bod. Design and architecture is made for the use of people. Measure with your hands, your feet, your height. Proportions and human scale are essential to designing objects, furniture, houses, and building.
  3. Ask your children to talk about their art, convey their ideas, speak up and clear. A big part of being a designer or an architect is to explain your design, and convince your audience.
  4. Learn about architecture styles and history by travelling (virtually) around the world. Different cultures have different ways of living and their houses look different. That can be a great social study, history and geography activity.
  5. Learn about scales and proportions. This is a great way to learn how to apply math in real life. Multiplications, divisions, areas, perimeter, imperial and metric systems. Architects use these concepts every day.
  6. Learn to draw like an architect. Draw a fruit in different views (plan, elevation, section), draw your bedroom’s floor plan.
  7. Let your children help with construction projects around the house, teach them woodworking, or how to use tools like hammers and screwdrivers.
  8. Build things with blocks, legos, and all kind of materials… Let them design their own cities, houses, castles.
  9. Download free online 3D modelling software like sketch-up and start building 3d models online. This is a great way to apply some of the previous concepts, engage older children and still be creative even with a screen.
  10. Build a 3d model of a treehouse, bee house, birdhouse, gingerbread house… Talk about scale and how to adapt the design to the user (the bee, the bird or the doll for example).

For a free downloadable activity exclusive to Babyccino Kids readers please follow this link and add the coupon code BABYCCINO (offer expires May 31st).

For further information and to book online workshops do visit

Maïa x


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