By Meg Escott
If you have a child who is showing interest in home design I've put together a list of things that will make great gifts.
I've split items up into these categories:
Lego is a pretty obvious gift for kids but did you know that Lego do some specific sets around architecture.
You can do a general search on Lego Architecture to see all the buildings and landmarks that you can get a set for.
There's also this kit which encourages making all sorts of different designs.
Lego Architecture Studio is a set of white and clear bricks (compatible with all other lego bricks). The price keeps going up because it's getting more rare to find one of these sets around.
It's recommended for kids 16 and older.
There's also a few books on building Lego with bricks you might already have.
Arckit is a little bit like Lego in that it is a system with components that fit together. The difference is that these kits are made up entirely of contemporary architectural components.
Several of the kits come in two versions - colorful or more subtle. The more subtle scheme fits in better with the adult kits so is perhaps the better choice.
Kits are a great way to get your design brains going. A utility knife, cutting mat and glue will come in handy for the paper based model kits.
This book by Horacio Sanchez covers the principles of architecture with the aim of helping kids to be able to 'read' and make sense of the architecture that surrounds them, asking questions such as what shapes are used? How does the light work?
This second book in the series by Horacio Sanchez the content focuses on design thinking and how to use empathy to figure out what a home needs. A few of the illustrations from House Plans Helper appear in this book!
This book by Barbara Beck explains how architects go about their work taking youngsters through how to create a site plan, floor plan, sections and elevations. It's a great book if you have a youngster who's aspiring to be an architect.
This second book by Barbara Beck is very similar in content to the Future Architect's Handbook above. It's called a toolkit because it comes with a scale ruler pencil, sharpener and eraser. This one makes a great gift.
If you think your child (or indeed yourself) might like an architecture related coloring book then this is a good one.