Return to World Ark Blog Landing

Every Saturday we feature a fun and/or educational activity you can try at home or in the classroom. Since this Monday is World Habitat Day: Changing Cities, Building Opportunities, I thought I'd share this city-building activity.

The idea of World Habitat Day, according to the United Nations website UN-Habitat, is to think about our towns and cities, everyone's right to adequate shelter, and to remind us, the world, of our responsibility for the future of the human habitats. With the theme Changing Cities, Building Opportunities, UN-Habitat is emphasizing the need to plan cities better. Unplanned growth of cities can lead to chaotic development and urban sprawl. When planned well, cities offer opportunity.

So, when you plan your city, keep this in mind. Are there enough places for people to work? Enough houses for people to live? Enough stores? Roads to get from home to work? Are there any parks for people to play or relax? Transportation? Think about your plan, and write down your ideas. What would you add or take away to make it better?

Once your plan is complete, you are ready to build. You'll need the following materials:

  • Crayons or markers

    City made of boxes
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Construction Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Small cardboard boxes

Gather several small cardboard boxes. Cut construction paper the right sizes to cover the sides of each box. Draw windows, doors, and other features for each house or building. Glue the construction paper to the boxes. Arrange the boxes on top of the larger piece of  cardboard and design your street scenes. Draw in streets, sidewalks, intersections, parking lots, parks, etc., to complete your city. You can even use clay to insert people into your city.

Take a photo of your completed city and send it to us at and we'll share it here.

You can find this activity and more at


Linda Meyers

Linda Meyers, an Arkansas transplant originally from St. Louis, Mo., started working at Heifer International in 2011. She enjoys dragging her three children on nature hikes and snapping photos of them and everything around her. She has a bachelor’s degree in English has been “in the process” of writing the great American novel for 24 years.