Blueprints serve as design plans for buildings, detailing features that architects and engineers map out ahead of time to serve as the guide for construction. Blueprints provide precise measurements and the locations of key aspects of the structure. In addition to lines showing walls and structural components such as pillars, symbols on blueprints indicate plumbing fixtures, electrical sockets and other built-in aspects of a structure. Show kids examples of blueprints, show the tools used to draft blueprints and help them design a project by creating blueprints of their own.
Show the blueprint examples. Explain the process of creating a blueprint as well as its importance in construction.
Show kids how to draw a basic blueprint showing outer walls, doorways, interior walls and fixtures such as sinks and outlets. Depending on the age group, help the kids create a blueprint for a one-room playhouse, a treehouse or a single-story house.
Demonstrate how to use a ruler and graph paper to create a scale rendering of a floor plan. For example, show the kids that when using a scale of 1 inch to 1 foot, a 6-foot by 8-foot treehouse takes up six squares vertically by eight squares horizontally on the graph paper.
Show the treehouse's front door at the lower edge of the drawing on the long side of the floor plan. Draw a 2-foot wide door in the centre of the front wall with a 1 1/2-foot window on each side of the door so the kids see how to divide a square into a 1/2 foot.
Show the kids how to use the compass to make circles on a blue print to indicate a pillar or another round object in the floor plan.
Demonstrate how to draw basic blueprint symbols, such as a circle marked "WH" for a water heater, a circle with two parallel lines for an electrical socket and a circle with four rays for a light.
Help the kids to measure and draw interior walls, if needed for their designs, and to measure and draw door and window locations.
Create flashcards to help the kids practice blueprint symbols. Discuss construction projects or buildings that the kids are familiar with to help them understand how blueprints are used to design everything from the houses they live in to their schools and the public buildings in their town.
Supervise kids in the use of the compass and collect all compasses at the end of the activity. The sharp ends can cause injuries.