BUILD  an  Igloo

Build an igloo in your classroom!  Use it as a Reading Center, a quiet getaway,
incorporate it into a Homes/Shelter theme or a Winter theme.  It's easier to make than it looks.
It takes about 175 plastic milk jugs.  Make sure they are rinsed clean, are dry, and have caps.
We couldn't bring in that many jugs by ourselves so we asked the 1st and 2nd grade classrooms to help us.  It took about 2 weeks to gather enough but we started to building once we had 50 jugs.
Below are photos and directions to help you get started.
MATERIALS:
175 --plastic milk jugs with caps; rinsed clean and dry inside
1-- glue gun capable of melting HIGH melt glue
1-2 -- packages of HIGH melt glue sticks (depending on
their thickness and length)
2 - yardsticks or something similar (for stability)
 masking tape (just enough to cover the yardsticks)
Photos below...

TIME:  About 3 hours.  Make it at school, not at home, because you can't transport it.


TIP 1: Keep the caps on!  It adds a LOT of stability.  Twist caps should be twisted on tight! "Flip" caps need to have 3 dots of hot glue put under the cap's ridge. LESSON: My class tried out the difference in stability of using jugs with caps - and without caps.  We squeezed and stomped on them.  They found out that unsecured "flip" caps flew right off  when stomped on.  Surprise was on everyone's face when they were unable to flatten a jug that had a TWIST cap on it!
TIP 2: Make sure you use HOT melt glue.  I learned that glue guns and sticks are NOT    created equal!    Only the HIGH melt glue worked.
TIP 3:  Do not put the glue on the jug before placing it.  Lay it in place first; look where it actually  touches the neighboring jugs and run a string of hot glue in THOSE places.

h-e-r-e  we  go. . . . .
Lay about 20 milk jugs, bottoms facing outward, in a circle on the floor.  Remove 4 or 5 of them to create a doorway.  (I covered a yard stick with masking tape so I could use it again later and laid it across the opening. You can see it in the next photo.)  Lay a yardstick on the floor across the opening & hot glue it to the bottom end jugs for stability.  Connect the remaining jugs, where they touch, with HOT MELT glue.  Glue the next row of jugs on top of the previous row but stagger them across the "seam" of the 2 jugs below like bricks.   Line up the bottoms of the jugs so the "wall" goes straight up.  Later on you'll curve it inward.
Continue adding rows of jugs until the igloo is 5 rows high.  Although the original directions did not include it, I hotglued a second yardstick (wrapped in masking tape so I could reuse the stick later) across the top of the door opening.  You can see it in the next photo.  Here, you only see the "floor" yardstick.

Once you hot glue the 2nd yardstick in place, it'll be time for the milk jugs to go around the entire circle.

Now you'll start the 6th row.  (Look closely and you'll see the 2nd yardstick that was glued across the top of the doorway opening.) Do NOT line up the bottoms of the jugs to the far outside edge.  Push the jug bottom inward about 3-4 inches from the edge.  This will decrease the number of jugs you'll need to complete the circle.  This will be the first row to go over the doorway and will begin the formation of the roof.

Continue adding rows of jugs and pushing each row further in from the edge.  Sometimes I had to squash the last jug of a row so it would fit...a good time to use a 1/2 gallon jug! 

You'll notice that a NATURAL curvature will happen automatically!  Each row will use less and less jugs.  Pretty soon you'll have room at the top for only one jug.  I just squashed a jug to fit upside down in the hole.  I did NOT glue it - just let it sit there.

This igloo is much sturdier than I anticipated.  It glides v-e-r-y easily across the floor.  We put a cozy blanket on the floor inside and some theme related books. 

Now - there's one more thing you can add if you like....

A TUNNEL !

Except - I don't have directions for a tunnel.  This one was done by trial and error.  I haven't any way to tell you how to do it.  It was the WEAKEST part of the structure and often came loose.  I'm sure that was because it was an 'add-on' and wasn't part of the original plans!

If you want one, look at the picture and do your best!

This is NOT my original idea.  It was passed on to me through several teachers.
I "heard" that it was also in a MAILBOX MAGAZINE issue at one time.
There you have it !  Hope you have fun!
from  ArdisK in Michigan

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Houses and Homes byAnn Morris & Ken Heyman
Photos show big & small houses from around the world made with locally available resources.  $4.45
Building an Igloo
by Ulli Steltzer
The text is meant for older children but photos clearly show the process of building this temporary shelter. $6.25
The Igloo by 
Charlotte & David Yue
Pencil drawings show how to build an igloo; also discusses summer homes & forms of travel.        $7.15
Come Home With Us
by Annie Kubler
People live differently around the world but they all share the same hopes & dreams.  $4.99
mailto:kosfam@comcast.net                                         Updated 3-15-02