Natural Building: kids building miniature cobb houses

Recommended for Grades 3-5

Humans have used earth, stone, and wood to build structures for thousands of years all over the world! Even today, people are building with earthen materials to reap the benefits nature provides. Undoubtedly, there is much to learn about this sustainable building technique by observing animals. From a Black Phoebe making a nest out of mud and twigs, to termites carving through wood and mud to make tunneled homes, animals use natural resources from their environment to build their homes. Explore natural building techniques as you build with materials found locally on the land.

Choose one of the following hands-on activities:

  • Build A Miniature Cob House: Build a miniature house to take home out of cob. Cob is a blend of clay, sand, straw and water that can be shaped to build amazing structures!
  • Nest Building: Learn about animals’ natural building techniques and also build your own nest made of earthen materials to take home.
  • Shelter Building: Learn one of the most important wilderness survival skills- building shelter out of what you find in nature. 
natural building cobb
black phoebe nest natural building

Field Trip Details

Length of Trip: 3-5 hours (3 hour minimum)
Maximum field trip size: 60 participants (i.e. 2 classes)

Location: Most field trips will meet at Big Oak Canyon, our 39-acre property in Silverado Canyon. We are also available to meet at Orange County based wilderness parks, regional parks, or beaches. If you are interested in Earthroots instructors coming to your school or group gathering, we encourage you to check out our Earthroots Comes to You experiences. Otherwise, we look forward to welcoming you at Big Oak Canyon where you’ll step into a land of mature oak woodlands, a seasonal flowing creek, sagebrush hillsides, an orchard, and gardens. Our property connects to the Cleveland National Forest, with trails extending into steep hillsides with sweeping canyon views.

Field Trip Fees

(7 person, 3-hour minimum | 60 student maximum)

$15 per student per hour, for groups of 7-15 

$12 per student per hour, for groups of 16-30

$10 per student per hour, for groups of 31-60

Don’t see your group size listed here?

Indicate how many students you would like to bring for a field trip on the field trip request form. We will do our best to accommodate your group size.

There is no fee for chaperones (teachers and parents) within the recommended ratio*, as long as attending chaperones are fully engaged participants. 

*Recommended chaperone to student ratio is no more than 1:10. Additional chaperones will pay a $20 flat-rate fee per additional chaperone above the recommended ratio. 

Ready to book your field trip?