Earlier this year, my dad forwarded an email to me from the geometry teacher at Nova School in Seattle. She was teaching her students applied math by assigning them groups and having them build dollhouses from plans that they found online. She asked us to get involved and help out with the cost of materials and some of the initial cuts that require a panel saw. We couldn’t turn down the opportunity to partner with the school!
I went to Nova School and saw the geometry class in dollhouse-building action. Nova School is a small, independent school in Olympia with a unique curriculum. I was homeschooled, and I could tell right away Nova School placed a similar value on hands on learning and endowing responsibility to the student.
When I visited the class, the students were spread out and working on their dollhouses. Everyone was doing something different. A couple boys put a coat of paint on their house that was three feet tall and on wheels. One girl was busy adding wallpaper, rugs, and other decorations to her already constructed dollhouse. Another student was building a dollhouse based on her own design from ¼” plywood. She was carefully making cuts with a utility knife, gluing all the pieces together, and painstakingly hammering in nails at just the right angle.
I learned that all the houses were going to be donated, and that each group of students got to pick where to give their project. They donated several to early childhood programs, one to a house for abused families, and one to a couple in the school who were new parents.
My visit ended with a tour of the whole school. Everywhere I went I was introduced as Kirsten Dunn from Dunn Lumber, the company that donated the materials. As a representative of my family’s company, it’s not uncommon to receive thanks or praise. The best part is realizing everything that I’ve inherited with my name. It’s a legacy that my family built and that I get to enjoy and share with others.
All of the creativity and generosity inspired us to design our own for Dunn DIY. As luck would have it, we got to continue the kindness started by the students at the Nova School. We had two little helpers, four and three years old. And though it took a little too long for their liking, they did learn how to sand and stain exceptionally well for such little girls!
Do you want to build your own dollhouse? See our step-by-step instructions here!