The natural benefits of construction and block play are well-known. Something that is increasingly important is how block play can be the spark for complex problem solving. We believe that through construction young minds can be expanded.

We have gathered our team to reflect on how construction is also something to extend and challenge children.

“Problem solving, negotiation and communication are all skills embedded in small group construction tasks.”

The Design Process:

The Design Process begins with the children. What do they want to build? What have they shown an interest in building?

Providing children with the time and guidance to draw a design what they want to build begins a reflective process. Parents and educators can follow up by comparing the design and the finished project and how children transformed what was in their design to the materials available.

Providing children with 3 to 5 step tasks to complete a project is a simple method to challenge children. Using visual representations, such as pictures and drawings of different buildings, planes or cars can entice children to extend their style of construction.

Using narrative via different scenarios is an easy way to excite and inspire children. One of our favourites:

Your family needs a space ship to return from a trip to the moon. Can you build the space ship?

Observing what children are building during free block play can influence how we set up learning experiences to create more complex construction problems. Frequently, block play leads to cars, robots, buildings and various inanimate objects. Creating a learning experience that provides children a chance to explore the living world can just begin with probing questions such as:

  • Can you make a giraffe?
  • Can you make a monkey?
  • Can you make an eagle?
  • Can you make a snake?

Spice up the experience: Mixing up the materials is something we love trying with children. Using Tegu and our Unit Bricks together is an ideal way to promote thoughtful conversation about the different qualities of materials. The children will think of a thousand ways to combine the two in some amazing creations.