Sometimes a rainy day calls for some constructive play. Sparking imagination and engaging curiosity, constructive play is an essential part of early child development. What’s more, it can be implemented anywhere with minimal effort. Create a mermaid paradise from the contents of a recycling bin or build an instruction led toy; construction play is the perfect chance to get little minds whirling.
What is Constructive Play?
Construction play focuses upon the use of alternative objects to create. What’s great about constructive play is that it can be applied to most everyday activities, Making a den on an outdoor walk, junk modelling with cardboard, building with blocks or following toy instructions are all great examples. It teaches a child how to create from scratch and brings together an abundance of skills, whilst providing opportunities to learn new ones.
What are the benefits of construction play?
The benefits of construction play are plentiful and can:
Enhance hand-eye coordination
Construction play encourages a child to use their hand, eye coordination. A hammer game is a fantastic example. Using a cork board and a hammer, children can knock various motifs into place to create a picture. This game encourages a child’s eyes to guide the hands into a specific place.
Help problem-solving skills
We all know the saying, ‘if at first, you don’t succeed, try again’. The use of constructive toys is the perfect lesson in problem-solving and teaching a child patience. With constructive play, little minds work out where they went wrong, enabling them to come up with a resolution. It provides an opportunity to find out combinations that work and those that do not. Building blocks are a prime example; research has revealed that simple blocks can encourage curiosity, maths skills and special awareness. A child can plan, test and construct new ideas, enabling them to think imaginatively.
Improve fine and gross motor skills
During construction play, children learn to move small parts with their fingers and manipulate pieces into place which is excellent for motor skills. Sets that click together are excellent for encouraging these skills. Our wooden construction train engine is a great example, complete with a screwdriver, little hands have the opportunity to build a simple train and play with the finished model.
Progress social and emotional development
Constructing a toy or building a tower that a child can be proud of raises self-esteem and heightens confidence. Getting the chance to show off a result to an audience and receiving praise are all incredibly important emotional learning opportunities for a child. Constructive play even helps children build relations with others during play. It teaches sharing, teamwork, cooperation and risk-taking which are all important skills to harness before school.
Ideas for Constructive Play
Constructive play is simple to introduce. Here are some of our ideas to try at home on a rainy day:
Construct a toy train track
Build an indoor den from materials in the home
Dig and plant seeds
Junk model and add interesting materials to expand on play, such as match sticks or googly eyes.