The Value of Constructive Play & How to Encourage it at Home

As a parent, it is easy to overlook the value of everyday toys, such as blocks, Legos® and Tinker Toys®. However, the daily utilization of these toys are proven to be a vital benefit to a child’s development. These toys fall under the category of constructive play. Through constructive play, children learn about materials and objects and how to use them to create, build, order and manipulate. By age four, constructive play is the most common form of play. Constructive play is also a big part of our S.T.R.E.A.M. curriculum at Stepping Stone School has been suggested that children who engage in this type of play will become good problem solvers.

At around age two, children begin to have a longer attention span, thus making it easier for them to focus on one set of toys, such as blocks or other building materials. During this time, you may notice them transition from simply banging toys around to moving them with purpose.

While toddlers are great at making any objects such as boxes and paper towels into toys, there are some great commercial toys for children at this stage of development and beyond. These include:

• Interlocking Blocks, such as Legos®, Lincoln Logs or Duplo building sets. By building with these traditional toys, children learn to recreate scenes around them which helps them process information and understand the world around them.

• Art supplies, such as crayons, paper, paint, scissors and glue. Using art materials helps toddlers practice fine motor skills they need to perform tasks, such as writing and buttoning their clothes. Creating art also helps children expand their imaginations and express themselves.

• Playdough, sculpting sand and a few sculpting tools. Building in sand or playdough, helps develop abstract thinking by using one object to represent another.

There are many developmental benefits to constructive play, as well as, various ways to encourage it at home. Most importantly, constructive play will prepare your child for the next milestone.


Age Groups:

Advanced Pre-K

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