Construction Play 101

by Laura Gadbery

K'NEX 3-in-1 Classic Amusement Park Building Set

Simple wooden blocks. Lincoln Logs. Tinkertoys. These are just a few classic building toys of our past that have remained favorites of children for generations!  Today there are far more options for this important type of learning: construction play. Now there are soft construction toys for toddlers right up to more intricate toys for older kids and beyond. Why build? There are many reasons, other than it’s just plain fun! We’re “building” on our last post that included magnet building toys. Let’s explore the other options we have at Teaching & Learning Stuff and why we believe construction play should be a part of every kid’s play experience.

BUILD Skills!

Building is an important part of learning during the toddler years; not only as an open-ended creative experience, but also to encourage independent play. Building toys help children at these ages work on fundamental skills like color sorting, matching, stacking, and counting. Development of hand-eye coordination and finger strength is also a bonus of working with construction toys.  Spatial skills, required later on for reading and writing, are introduced as well.

BUILD Confidence!

In those pre-school years, the cognitive work of fantasy play is a side benefit of engaging your child with building toys. He might build a fort with wood blocks and play out scenes with small figures. She may build a castle from colorful Mega Blocks and give a home to her royal stuffed cat. Improving language skills is a plus every time your child has the opportunity for imaginative play! Creative thinking is important as a child develops and gives them confidence as they play.

BUILD Memories!

Construction toys for older kids often involve a template to follow. Here, kids use critical thinking and problem solving skills, plus they will discover math and engineering principals. Social skills are also improved if the project is a joint one, not to mention the patience that is developed during such projects! Your child will never forget that time you built a K’nex dinosaur or spaceship together. The feeling of accomplishment when completing a project from start to finish can’t be overstated!

Why BUILD?

You can see that blocks and construction toys are a must-have in the home and classroom.  Kids don’t even know all of the important skills they are developing during play! As Mr. Rogers famously said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”

We’re here to help you help them play! We know you have lots of choices of where to shop, but when you shop with us, you will get great service and selection! We appreciate your support of a local business, so come see us or shop online, because smart starts here!

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