The monumental building challenge

Child building with plant pots

While you’re staying safe at home, why not take on a new challenge with the family? We look after places at eight World Heritage sites, which you can use as inspiration to create your own piece of history. Build your own version of a World Heritage site, a monument, or your favourite historic place.

You could create Stonehenge out of books, Hadrian’s Wall out of cushions or Giant’s Causeway out of chocolate buttons.

Keep the kids entertained and uncover the fascinating history and legends of these world-famous sites. We’d love to see what you’ve been making around the house so please share your monumental creations with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 

This challenge has been designed so that it can be done in your house or garden, so please take part from the comfort of your own home.

The monumental building challenge PDF

Download the monumental building challenge 

We've created a downloadable PDF with lots of tips for creating your masterpiece. You could print it out or save it on your mobile. If you want to stretch your creativity further, then have a look at more inspirational ideas and tips below.

Tips and tricks for your epic creation

What are you going to build?

The first thing you need to do is decide what you'd like to make. You could think about a place you’ve visited with your family on holiday, on a school trip, or maybe somewhere you’ve seen on TV. Maybe you learnt about an important site in a history lesson at school? 

Thanks to National Trust supporter Luke for building the Lake District in his garden
A recreation of The Lake District using blankets and model boats
Thanks to National Trust supporter Luke for building the Lake District in his garden

We look after places at eight World Heritage sites so you'll find lots of inspiration on our website too. Look through the gallery below to see if it gives you some ideas. There’s a wall that spans the width of England, mysterious stones that have been around for thousands of years, and the ruins of an ancient abbey. 

World Heritage sites to inspire you

What materials will you use?

Did you know that Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland is believed to have been formed more than 60 million years ago? Will your creation stand the test of time? Think carefully about what materials you'll use. There’s so much you can do with things you find in the house. You could use pillows, blankets, boxes or books. 

Get constructing with cardboard boxes
Family building a castle out of cardboard boxes
Get constructing with cardboard boxes

Try draping blankets over chairs to make mountains or use towels to make the meandering shape of a river. If you're creating a monument or building, you could stack empty boxes or cut out shapes from paper and card. Use pegs or scarves to keep your building in one piece.

If you have a garden, there's lots of useful things you could look for outside. Try stones and sticks to create shapes and structures. Pinecones or leaves might be good for roof tiles or decorations.

Thanks to National Trust supporter Hilary for building Stonehenge out of breakfast cereal
Stonehenge built from cereal
Thanks to National Trust supporter Hilary for building Stonehenge out of breakfast cereal

Where will you build it?

If you're building something big like a den or pillow fort, you'll need to find a spacious spot in your house or garden. Can you find a cosy corner in the house for your creation or the perfect place in the garden?

What can you make from natural materials?
Children building from natural materials
What can you make from natural materials?

Who is it for?

Will it be a decoration for your room or a present for someone special? You could surprise someone in your house with a creation just for them, or do more than one and set up a mini exhibition. Perhaps you could share a picture with friends and family to see if they can guess the landmark you’ve created.

Take a photo and send to your friends and family
child taking a photo
Take a photo and send to your friends and family

How will you decorate it?

If you’re making something out of carboard or paper, why not add some decoration? Colour it in, paint it or stick on leaves and ribbons. If you're creating a landscape scene, don't forget to add in those extra finishing touches. Have you got any cuddly toys, dolls or animals that could be put around it? 

Add some colour to your creation
Child decorating with pens
Add some colour to your creation

Why stop at one? 

If you've loved creating your masterpiece, don't just stop at one. Look through the gallery above again and see if you're inspired to do another one, two or even more. And once you've recreated all the World Heritage Sites you could move on to look at more of the houses, gardens and landscapes we care for.

Could you recreate the White Cliffs of Dover using your fridge, a lighthouse out of cake, or a house built from gingerbread? Whatever you make, don't forget to share your creations with us on social media.

Family-friendly activities

Find lots of inspiration for activities to do as a family. You won't be short of things to do at home or in the garden.