The construction spaces within our classrooms at Bear Park are popular areas of play for almost all children, and for good reason. Creating something 3 dimensional using a variety of blocks and recycled materials promotes critical thinking and creative problem-solving. Experimenting with how things can be stacked, balanced and arranged encourages a hands-on approach to developing awareness of weight, height, size, and shape and of course gravity!
To encourage your child/ren to think a little deeper and develop a focus in their construction play, try first to support them in envisioning what they would like to create. Just like an architect would support your child to develop a clear concept of what they would like to build. Perhaps it is a home for a favourite toy or magical castle-like one seen in a favourite film or story. Once they have a clear idea of what they would like to create, invite them to draw their plan.
The process of drawing a plan helps children to develop the skills to make their ideas visible. Once they are happy with their plan, it’s time to source the materials that will best help this plan come to life. For example, if they are using lego, ask your child/dren which pieces will work best for certain elements of their design. If they are using wooden blocks, and your child’s plan has some more extravagant details, you could perhaps search the house for other objects of recycled materials to represent these details such as paper towel rolls, plastic bowls or cups, empty boxes etc…
If your child isn’t yet confident in their drawing skills, why not use your next walk in the neighbourhood to collect some inspiration? Invite your child to take a photograph of a building or space they might like to create at home, perhaps a playground they miss visiting or a beautiful church. Are there any unique structures in your neighbourhood that inspire you? Perhaps you could share this interest with your children.
“Through their constructive play, a child will learn what will work and what will not. Trial-and-error is a great method in which to create structures and modify methods. Overcoming problems to build structures in a particular way will always aid creative thinking and problem solving skills.” – (newbyleisure.com)