Move aside, Legos, connectors and blocks.

On Saturday, preschoolers through fifth-graders can build the White House, the Capitol building, the Lincoln Monument, houses, skyscrapers, parks and other structures on a large scale during the 13th annual Box City for Kids event presented by American Institute of Architects Colorado.

Children can show up with their parents between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at The Colorado Springs School, 21 Broadmoor Ave. The event is free and open to the public.

The school’s Louise Honnen Tutt Field House, also known as the gym, will be turned into construction central.

This year’s theme is Buildings of Washington, D.C., but participants can create whatever their imagination desires, said architect Adam Thesing, chairman of the planning committee and past leader for the Colorado Springs AIA group.

“The purpose is to raise awareness of architecture and what architects do,” he said. “It gets them thinking about their environment, so when they see a commercial building next to a government building, it makes them more aware. They might recognize doors that lead outside, and windows that let light in.”

Children rotate through stations that include identifying what they want to build, designing the project and gathering materials at a “hardware store,” such as boxes, tubes, paper, colored pencils and other supplies.

“They may choose to do something intricate or simple,” Thesing said.

Houses that children can enter, offices, commercial buildings 20 feet tall, parks, pianos, vehicles and other structures have been built in previous years, he said. Projects can take 20 minutes or an hour or more, with area architects and contractors lending a hand.

A large floor map that occupies half the gym helps children learn about city planning and zoning, as they place their structure on a lot.

Children receive master architect or master builder certificates and can either keep their project or recycle it after Godzilla wreaks havoc on the newly built box city.

Contact the writer: 719-476-1656

Contact the writer: 719-476-1656.

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