Games, Sustainable Cities

A dream house

After our trip to Africa and getting to know the traditional patterns of Ndebele tribe, we move to other continents to discover traditional wooden architecture common in many countries across Europe, North America and Russia. We will also create a paper model of a traditional Russian wooden dwelling (“izba”).


  • pictures of wooden houses (attachment 10.1)
  • brown paper or paper drinking straws
  • pen or crayon
  • scissors
  • glue
  • thick sheet of paper (of any colour)

Preparation for the game

Before you start the exercise, show the children the pictures of traditional Russian wooden architecture (attachment 10.1).


Explain that these buildings’ facades are frequently decorated with beautiful sculptures and unique, ornamented doors. The interiors are also richly decorated. In the past all buildings in this area were made of wood: there were wooden houses, wooden churches and chapels and wooden mills built by the rivers. Wood was a cheap and accessible material. The precision of construction was astounding. It resembled creating a house from Lego blocks. It was possible to build it without using a single nail and then “disassemble” to move it to a different place.


Allow the children to create a model of wooden dwelling (“izba”) with paper and drinking straws. Cut the brown paper into 5 cm wide straps and let the children roll them using a pencil or a crayon (older children can do both activities on their own). It is best to use thick paper to create the rolls. It will make it easier to model walls. Children glue the rolls they prepared (representing wooden logs) to a A4 paper in such a way that they adhere to one another. Younger children may use paper drinking straws, instead of preparing the rolls themselves.

The children cut out a triangle or a trapeze. It’s base must be of the same length as the rolls’ (or straws’) width. Then, they glue the base of the figure to the roll (or straw) and its top — to the A4 sheet of paper. The last step is cutting the model out. Older children can work on the details: cut out the door and in its place glue a decorated rectangle. They can do the same with the windows (if you want the cuts to be even, you may use a paper knife).

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logo Habitat for Humanity Poland

Project is financed by European Union. This project is a part of global advocacy campaign of Habitat for Humanity aimed at improvement of access to land for a shelter.