Growing up, my siblings and I spent many fun filled hours building card houses. This activity and other activities with card are good frugal fun, as decks of cards can be bought as cheaply as one dollar and reused countless times.
There are many different techniques in building card houses. You can either spread out wide, or build up. We always had more success building ones that spread out, so I will focus on that type. Above is a wider card house, built two stories high.
To start off, lean two cards against each other in a T shape.
At this point, it will be quite unstable. Add two more cards until you end up with this shape.
You can now either continue building out to the sides or build up. My preference is the former, and only then do I like to add on another level.
To build out, you lean additional cards against these four original cards. You can continue with this until you grow bored, want to build upward, or until it gets knocked down.
To add on another level, lay some cards flat on the top of what you've built and repeat these few steps on that layer of cards.
Alternatively, you can use different methods for card house building, such as this method my dad prefers.
This technique is great for building taller, thinner card houses.
Homeschooling moms (and other parents who like to learn with their children as well), you can use this activity as a way to teach about the origin of the phrase "as fragile as a house of cards", and perhaps branch out into discussing other phrases and their origins.
Additionally, you can experiment with your children and see which method of building card houses is strongest and discuss why. You can challenge your children to build as tall a house as wide or as sturdy a house as possible. You can test sturdiness via having them blow on to the card house, placing something on top of the structure, or shooting rubber bands at the house and seeing which type of house survives the onslaught best. Discussing the physics behind card houses is a great way to make learning fun.
Have you ever built card houses?