Date posted: May 31, 2013
Constructive or construction play is play that involves manipulating elements of the play environment to create something new. It supports the development of several skills including physical dexterity, problem solving, creativity and imagination, and persistence and experimentation. And, while there are some wonderful construction toys available for children, a combination of imagination and household objects can create a very satisfying construction play experience.
Here are some resources on constructive play for parents and for early childhood practitioners.
Constructive play – This webpage from the New Zealand Ministry of Education looks at ways adults can support learning during constructive play, with links to information on adventure/junk play, block play, carpentry and sand.
Constructive play in early learning environments – This article looks briefly at the benefits of constructive play and what adults can do to support it.
Good toys for young children by age and stage – This list of safe and appropriate toys for different ages includes free materials found at home. There are toy suggestions for things to build with for 1 year olds, toddlers, and preschoolers and kindergarten age children. From the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
All about unit block play – Written for teachers, this article contains a lot of information on preparing for and enhancing the use of blocks in the early childhood classroom.
Block play activities for home, child care, or school – a brief handout with ideas for using blocks with children
Developmentally appropriate block play – What children at different ages do, learn and need in block play
Read! Build! Play! – This is a joint initiative of Lego Duplo, and the Association for Library Services to Children, designed to combine reading, building and play to help develop early literacy skills. It includes a summer reading list and activity guide for ages 1 to 3, a reading list and activity guide for ages 3 to 5, and a parent activity guide.