Games – Building bridges with rules

In this variation of 'Building Bridges', we use building rules to decide how we build a bridge together.
The task

Together, we build a bridge from some simple building rules. The aim of the activity is to create room for ideas and negotiation through structured play.

Games – Building Bridges We create a motivating framework for the children. 



Suggestion for introduction

We create a motivating framework for the children. 

For example, we can say: “Today, we build a stabile bridge together, which goes from here (mark) to here (mark). There are some building rules that we follow. For example:

  1. We only build with our own bricks of the same color.
  2. We do not put two bricks of the same color on top of each other.
  3. We takes turns placing a brick.”


The activity can be adapted to the framework of one lesson and varied according to the time available and the children’s prerequisites.


We need some building materials of different colors, like Lego or magnets. A pile of 30 bricks with the same color is made for each child, e.g. 30 yellow bricks. We also need something to mark where the bridge starts and where it ends, e.g. boards. The distance can be varied from building and collaboration skills.

During the activity

During the play session, the children encounter challenges and successes, where we can stop and help spot what is difficult or what is going well. We can do this in several ways:

Reflection routines 

When we get the opportunity to reflect together with the children on what challenges or discoveries arise along the way, we can use one or more reflection routines. It could be, for example, a learning metaphor with a social strategy that we practice, an emoji that describes the feeling we have right now, or a rating of how well we think the building is going. In this way, a reflection routine can help to show and put into words the experiences that the children have during the play session.

Facilitating questions

We can ask facilitating questions to the children along the way, as they naturally arise in the building process. In this way, we facilitate the play session so that we continue the play and at the same time learn something from it. For example: 

  • I see that you have stopped building. I wonder how we can continue from here? 
  • I see that you have encountered a challenge. Should we try to solve it together? 
  • Try to notice what you are doing right now. Do you think this is a collaborative strategy? 
Show and Tell

Finally, in the play session, we give a Show and Tell of our construction, so that we have the opportunity to share our experiences, reflections, and feelings about the construction process.

First, we talk about our model and the process of building it. During the Show and Tell, we can use reflection routines and reflective questions to support the discoveries that have been made. For example:

  • What went well? 
  • What was difficult?
  • Is there anything that you want to do differently the next time we build bridges?
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