When considering building activities for a wide range of participants, the resources are key. Choose building materials that are light and easy to manage and can be carried either individually or in pairs. Ideally they should have other multisensory qualities themselves, such as textures or sound options. They should also create alternative opportunities for play, like calling/looking through, rolling balls down etc, and encourage cooperation and working together. Making and decorating 'dens' is an age-old activity enjoyed by children and adults alike. Giving a basic structure or frame for participants to add to is a good starting point
Large flat-pack boxes stack easily in lots of combinations once assembled and will pick up and transmit vibrations from nearby loudspeakers or loud instruments like saxophones. They can be dismantled and stored flat.
Small white shoe boxes can be filled with objects to make sounds, like pasta, bells, or balls for example.
You can also cut windows into them to show lights inside. Adding coloured gels creates another effect
Corrugated plastic sheets are both transparent and reflective, so are visually very appealing.
They can be used to roll other objects down and can easily be attached to static frames.
Workmen's netting is easy to hang, can cover large areas and is light and airy. It has regular spaces/holes in which to poke other building materials which is easy for clients to do. It also creates great shadows.
Carpet tubes act as instruments when dropped or beaten with flip flops/beaters/bats. It is easy to drill holes in the ends to make securing possible for the creation of specific structures
· Cloths can be draped or hung wherever a wall or roof is required.
They can also be hauled into place and hung as structures themselves
Bamboo is useful for building a simple hut frame to which other building materials or cloths can be added.
Grasses make a simple and quick roof or fence, when attached to a frame, while bamboo fencing is ideal for creating an instant wall which can then have grasses added.
Cardboard can be used to create a skyline by cutting out the silhouette of buildings, then placing on the floor next to a wall and in front of a ropelight. The outline of the buildings is then seen in relief in front of the lit wall.