Constructive play is used a lot at Wyndham Vale Primary Kindergarten. Constructive play (also known as constructing play or construction play) involves manipulating elements of the play environment to construct something new. This may involve all sorts of different construction methods – stacking, assembling, disassembling, sorting or moulding, to name just a few. This construction area has become an integral part of children’s routine and lives. Blocks provide many learning opportunities for children: the opportunity to exercise a variety of skills that will prepare children for school, and beyond. Construction activities promote and encourage social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills. They also promote imagination, problem solving, symbolic thinking, and mathematical concepts. Additionally, they support the development of spatial, fine motor and cognitive skills.
In the construction area, children are promoted to be active participants in their learning. Blocks allow children to create their own stories and motivate creative thinking. Children learn concepts of physics without saying it in such a scientific way. It is through opportunities to be active participants that children develop a strong sense of identity, trust and independence to become confident and involved learners.
Constructive play develops a vast range of skills and behaviours, including;
- The physical skills (both fine and gross motor) necessary to manipulate and control the chosen toy or material,
- Problem solving skills,
- Flexible thinking skills,
- The ability to plan the use of materials to see a design idea become a reality,
- The ability to test ideas,
- Perseverance in the face of construction challenges, and
- When working with others, team work behaviours necessary to successfully and collaboratively complete a task together.
Our children are eager builders and this is often the busiest part of the classroom. Their creations are becoming lengthier and more extravagant as the year has progressed, as they get used to the material that is available within the area. They are even fantastic at being able to help us put flat packs together, when a new piece of equipment arrives at the kinder.