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Constructive Play

Encouraging Constructive Play

Posted by: Rhonda August 11, 2015

“Visually, our preschool yard was very attractive and well-manicured,” reported Kate, a veteran kindergarten teacher. “The kids could swing, run, or climb, but we had no area that could sustain a child’s attention for a longer amount of time. In fact, it seemed that many behavioral problems were springing from boredom or lack of focus.”

Some of the teachers in her school got together and created a large area of pebbles, outdoor blocks, and other loose parts. The change was dramatic. For literally hours the kids were completely engaged constructing and deconstructing play structures in the new area. Day after day. Week after week. The play only got better.

“Constructive play is what young children do naturally,” writes Francis Wardle. Although there are plenty of reasons why it serves to prepare children for later academic success, constructive play should be encouraged and supported simply because it lets children do what children do best.

Constructive play is driven by children’s interactions with their environment, so teachers have the important role of providing not only time and space, but also stimulating materials. Read the article.