Building bridge crafts can be a good teaching tool. Building bridges can teach engineering techniques as well as serving as a metaphor to teach children to reach out to other people who may be different from themselves. Bridge crafts don't have to be complex engineering feats; simple craft objects can be used to great effect. When making crafts, an adult should do all the cutting and should supervise the craft.
Paper Plate and Bowl Bridge
Create a bridge out of simple materials. Turn a paper bowl over and cut a strip through the middle. The strip should be about 2 inches wide and should resemble an arched bridge. Take a paper plate that has approximately the same diameter as the bowl and staple both ends of the bowl bridge to the edges of the paper plate. Paint the paper plate green to resemble grass. Paint a squiggly blue strip down the center (under the bridge) to appear that the bridge is over water and paint the bridge brown. Use a paper hole punch to punch six holes along the edges of both sides of the bowl bridge. Cut a drinking straw into pieces and put the straw through the holes and secure the pieces with glue. Use pipe cleaners or string to connect the tops of the straw. You can add a small paper doll crossing the bridge or leave it blank.
Cardboard and Craft Stick Bridge
Create a bridge out of cardboard and craft sticks. Cut a strip of cardboard that is slightly thinner than the length of a craft stick. The length of the cardboard depends on how long you want the final bridge to be. Bend the two ends of the cardboard to create a bridge. Glue craft sticks to the cardboard to form the slats of the bridge. Be sure to put the sticks right next to each other over the entire length of the bridge. Use modeling clay to secure the two ends of the bridge so they don't slip on a table surface and use a cut off piece of cardboard tube to support the bridge if necessary.
Cardboard Tube Bridge
Perhaps the easiest way to construct a bridge is simply to put a cardboard tube between two books. This creates a tunnel bridge that can be used with small die cast cars. Decorate the tube with brown paint. Use darker brown paint to create a textured look on the outside of the tube. Make it look like a wood material or use grey and black paint to create a rock effect.
Oatmeal Container Bridge
Create a bridge out of an oatmeal container. Cut the bottom of the container off and cut the container in half vertically. Cover the oatmeal container with a paper bag or paint it with brown paint. Draw slats to look like wood slats going across the bridge. Set the bridge down on the table. The two rounded ends provide the arch of the bridge. The oatmeal container should be able to stand on its own. Draw a river on a piece of paper and set the bridge on top of it. Or, run a model train under the bridge.
Stephanie Kelley has been writing articles and columns online for SGM Radio and SGN Scoops Digital since 2005. She has a Bachelor of Arts in art history/anthropology from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. and writes on a number of topics including art, frugal living, children and travel.