I’ve never considered myself much of a builder, but when I really think about it, some of my fondest childhood memories are those involving my younger brothers and I building and, of course, destroying houses and cities made from Lincoln Logs and Legos.

Building is not simply the act of stacking blocks.  In organized play, it is thoughtful and goal-oriented.  And, in my brothers’ and my case, it was a little bit of healthy competition to see whose design could withstand our inevitable demolition the longest.  If you really think about it, in adult life, there is so much that goes into designing, planning and constructing a building.  And, in the life of a child, those same processes take place when they are constructing.  This equates to incredible learning through these playful experiences.

Constructive play is such an important part of any early childhood environment.  With the use of open-ended materials such as basic unit blocks or even raw pieces of wood, children learn to problem solve and use their creativity to come up with specific functions for the materials they are using.  The objects become a symbol for something else in dramatic play and the children develop a code or language as they engage with the objects and their peers.  While exploring various mediums such as plaster, clay, play-dough and even things like mud, sand and various recyclable materials, children become motivated to discover ways to manipulate objects and decide how best to use the different materials to serve their purpose of play.   Kids also gain a mastery of spatial relations as they use words like above, beside and below as well as other mathematical concepts through working with combining shapes, measurement, balance, height and size.

Perhaps the most powerful skills gained through constructive play are social.  Children learn how to engage cooperatively with their peers through building together.  They learn how to apply STEM concepts through team work and collaboration.  And, they learn the value of sharing and taking turns as they build structures together that may not have been possible alone.  Further, children develop language through building with their peers.  The converse as they enjoy building to their hearts’ content.

Come design and build with us the week of July 9-13 for ages 2-8!!

Thrilled to Build for Miniputs – Ages 2-3

Thrilled to Build for Lilliputs – Ages 3.5-6

Thrilled to Build for Travelers – Ages 6-8

 

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