Mimi and the Grands

Educating Through Multiple Intelligences

“Construction” Themed Lessons for 3 Year Olds

on August 30, 2015

I love spending time with my 3 year old grandson, aka, Tahoe, and luckily I get to spend three days a week with him. As a retired teacher, I also love to plan lessons to teach him, especially using the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. During the last two weeks, I have used a “construction” theme to help Tahoe explore a topic he really enjoys. As I planned activities for the “construction” unit, I tried to plan at least one activity for Tahoe in each of the eight intelligences.

 Linguistic (Word Smart)

Read books-These are the books I borrowed from the library and used to create the lesson plans. I read at least one of these books to Tahoe each day during the two week period.

  • One Big Building by Michael Dahl is a counting book showing construction workers busy working on a twelve story building. 
  • The books Construction and Demolition by Sally Sutton also have wonderful illustrations. Besides describing the different jobs, machines, and tools needed in the construction and demolition processes, there are rhyming words and samples of “sound words” in these books. These are great books to use when “modeling” expressive oral reading.
  • Builder Goose by Bobi Ashburn reworks familiar nursery rhymes and children’s songs using a construction theme. Examples are:

      “There was an Old Foreman” (“There was an Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe”)                                                                                                                                    “Roll, Roll, Roll the Road”  (“Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)                                                                                                                                                                         “It’s Spinning, It’s Roaring”  (“It’s Raining, It’s Pouring”)


Discussions-Whenever I read to Tahoe, we have lots of discussions about the illustrations, rhyming, and new vocabulary (such as skid steer, jackhammer, and concrete mixer).

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

 Finger plays and songs-Tahoe loves to sing. Since the book Builder Goose already contains familiar songs rewritten with the “construction” theme, I used it for my source of songs for the musical intelligence for this unit.  Some examples of rewritten songs from this book are:

             “Do You Know the Bulldozer” (“Do You Know the Muffin Man”)

             “Three Dump Trucks” (“Three Blind Mice”)

             “I’m a Heavy Grader” (“I’m a Little Teapot”)

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Videos-I played several videos for Tahoe (found online) which showed construction vehicles in action. 

Freestyle Crafts-While I often give Tahoe a more “directed” craft project, I also encourage him to create art on his own. I gave him pieces of construction paper, scissors, glue, and crayons, and we talked about some of the illustrations of buildings in the books we read together. While Tahoe doesn’t cut on lines yet, he was happy practicing his cutting skills on scrap paper and using the pieces he cut for his projects. (His older brothers had cut some of the bigger pieces of paper for him.)

After gluing together his "building," Tahoe decided his project needed more colors.

After gluing together his “building,” Tahoe decided his project needed more colors.


   Interpersonal (People Smart)

Building Together-Tahoe enjoys getting involved in projects with my hubby, Grandpa Jim, with handyman projects around the house. I feel it is important that Tahoe learn how to work on projects with other people.

Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

Pantomimes-  Tahoe and I discussed some of the construction jobs from the books and together we practiced pantomimes for each of them. (He usually incorporates some of these pantomimes on his own during his dramatic playtime.)

Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Personal reading – Giving Tahoe personal time to look over the books I have read to him gives him a chance to explore at his own pace. Often, Tahoe retells the stories in the books as he looks at the illustrations.

Tahoe enjoys looking over the books I have read to him and retelling the stories to himself.

Tahoe enjoys looking over the books I have read to him and retelling the stories to himself.

Building Towers-Tahoe also enjoyed being able to play with the building blocks and create his own “construction” projects.

Tahoe decided to construct a tower with the blocks.

Tahoe decided to construct a tower with the blocks.


Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Counting activities: There are always lots of counting opportunities for Tahoe in most of the books we read, but One Big Building was written as a counting book, so Tahoe got practice counting from 1-12. 

Naturalist intelligence (Nature Smart)

Field trips-There are many opportunities to see construction in our area, so we stopped at a site (at a safe distance) and discussed the tools, machines, and vehicles that were being used. Also we discussed how nature had been changed by the new construction.





Thanks for reading my blog. I hope this article is helpful when you are planning learning activities for the “tots” in your care.

I love reading posts and getting ideas about teaching the preschool age group. Here is one of the links I love to explore:








One response to ““Construction” Themed Lessons for 3 Year Olds

  1. […] you looking for a construction themed unit? Take a look at what GrandMama Nancy put together for her GrandTot Tahoe! Some of her ideas may be […]


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