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Welcome to day 9 in the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series. Today we are discussing construction and its ability to make learning visible.
I have wrote about construction previously.
Constructing and engineering with various manipulatives opens up the world to a child and enables them to create visual representations of their learning, ideas and understanding of the world around them and their interests.
Some questions to reflect upon:
- What kind of constructing is your child drawn to at the moment? Are they 3D or 2D (blueprints)?
- Does your child have the space and opportunity to build upon previous constructions?
- Does your child sketch, record and/or take photographs of their creations?
- Do you display construction materials in an inviting way? Is there anyway you can improve on your current system?
- Do you allow for uninterrupted time to construct and a space for the construction to be left to build upon later?
Constructing helps children construct meaning. – Rachel [Racheous – Lovable Learning]*
Construction doesn’t have to just involve blocks, however, they’re an awesome material to manipulate and build representations. I wrote about the benefits of block play here and love watching children tinker with blocks as they’re so versatile and open-ended.
However, remember to make several different types of constructive materials available for your child to create with:
- Blocks (wooden building blocks, tree blocks, mirror blocks, colour blocks, magnetic blocks, etc)
- Tinkering toys (think magnetix, k’nex, meccano, etc)
- Snap circuits
- Construction with recyclables
- Creating simple machines
- Building forts and cubby houses
- Wire forms
- Creating with clay/plasticine/playdough
- Just to name a few…
- Create an invitation to construct. Include media that reflects their interests (a provoking photo, book, previous work, artwork, sculpture, or a combination) but try not to influence their creativity too much.
- Over the coming days, watch your child constructing and take note of the types of construction they are involved in.
- Discuss ways they might like to expand on their creations, including which materials they might need.
- Encourage them to sketch, record and/or take photos of their constructions.
- Allow the construction/s to be left out and built upon.