Play with the Three Little Pigs

One of my favorite fables is the three little pigs. I love to think about all the other things besides sticks, stones and bricks that the pigs could have used to build their houses! Would spaghetti, play dough or books have been strong enough to stand up to the wolf's huffing and puffing?


What about chips and soda? In The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf, the pigs are lucky that the wolf is only somewhat bad because two of them buy potato chips and "sody-pop" which would not build very strong houses! Read their story in Spanish in Los tres cerditos y el lobo no tan feroz.

Check out The Three Ninja Pigs for a fun twist on the classic story. It includes encouragement about working hard and not giving up, which will come in handy as you design and build.

Paper might not seem like very strong material to build a house, but if you've ever made origami, you know that you can make some strong things with it!  Read More-igami to see all the things Joey makes from paper.


Now, try building with paper yourself!  Visit your neighborhood library to pick up a Play Together, Learn Forever kit, which include materials and instructions for six fun recipes for play. 

Use the materials in your kit, or some materials you find around your home, to build a paper structure! Gather some straws, masking tape, a square of cardboard, construction paper and a fan.  

  1. Use the cardboard square as a base.
  2. Construct the frame of a building by taping straws to the base and to each other.
  3. Try attaching paper “walls” using tape.
  4. Experiment! Try blowing your building with a fan. Can it withstand the wind? How tall can you make your building without it falling over?
Grown-ups, play experts at the Chicago Children's Museum recommends this activity because it:
  • Develops engineering and problem-solving skills 
  • Encourages creativity through designing and re-designing structures and features
  • Promotes resilience when kids try again if their structure falls
  • Strengthens fine motor skills as your kids use tools and manipulate 

Play Together, Learn Forever kits were created thanks to a partnership between Chicago Public Library, Chicago Children's Museum and the Chicago Public Library Foundation. For more fun activities like this, pick up one up from your neighborhood library or check out Chicago Children's Museum's Recipes for Play which are perfect for at-home play and learning.

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