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Play your way to celebrate all that is uniquely special about YOU with these creative, self-esteem building activities inspired by Daniel Manus Pinkwater’s “The Big Orange Splot.”

Build a “YOU” HOUSE

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Build a “YOU” House

Image of children playing and experimenting with recycled parts in a bin during this fun activity to do with kids inside.


Forage in your recycling bin for loose parts in each of the following categories:

– CONTAINERS: Square/rectangular pieces of cardboard, plastic containers, cans, a cleaned out milk carton, packaging, etc.

– CONNECTORS: Bits of string or yarn, glue, tape, rubber bands, etc.

– EMBELLISHMENTS: Bottle caps, packaging, the lid to your coffee cup, papers, etc.

Image of a lightbulb inside of a thought bubble to indicate brainstorming fun activities to do with kids inside.


  • Think about the activities, colors, places, and people that you love.
  • Translate those preferences into design elements for your dream house. For example, if you love the playground, maybe there should be a slide right in the middle of your house! If you love tigers, why not include a special garden just for your tiger friends in your living room?
  • There should be no limit to the design elements of your house, because there is no limit to your imagination!
Image of a child engaging in the fun activity of building a house using cardboard and glue.


  • Design and construct your own dream home that reflects your personality from top to bottom using your gathered materials.
  • Have fun creatively using everyday objects!
  • Remember: The purpose of this activity is to have fun and to celebrate expressing yourself – not to make a perfect looking house.

Play your way! What else can you do with these open-ended materials?

Why Play This Way?

Build confidence through this play by celebrating individuality and creative expression. We invite you to use this time to make space for your little one to recognize what makes them special and unique.

Discover the book that
inspired this play

Read While You Play & Play While You Read

Image of the suggested book cover: The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater to inspire fun activities to do with kids inside.

“The Big Orange Splot” by Daniel Manus Pinkwater

This is just the tip of the iceberg! If you liked this activity, you’ll LOVE our Book Club.
Discover special books and bring them to life with activities that make meaningful connections between reading and playing. 

join the book club!

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