Construction Play in Early Years




Construction Play in Early Years
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Learning Early Years
Our Primary Principal, Alan McCarthy, shares how our Early Years team use construction play with our youngest children to help them express themselves, deepen their understanding of the world around them, connect with other children and, most importantly, develop personally and emotionally.
 
Children playing in KLASS playground"Children within our Early Years are offered a broad range of learning opportunities through play alongside direct teacher instruction for areas such as reading, phonics, writing and maths.

One of the most open ended learning areas within the Early Years curriculum is construction play. Materials used within this type of play can be so varied and different. One such type of construction play material is what is termed ‘loose parts’. This refers to any man made or natural materials which can be used by children to learn through play. Here at JB this is a very often used resource for provoking children’s interests and stimulating their curiosity. Using such materials allows for endless opportunities to create and encourages our children to really stretch their imaginations. When children begin engaging with these loose parts, other children join, fabulous and amazing creations begin to develop and children develop their language as they interact. 

'Boat' built by reception children
This boat, created by students in one of our Reception classes, is a brilliant example of this. The students who created it planned, collaborated and negotiated as they built this boat. As I spoke with them, they enthusiastically explained its purpose, the different sections including a cafe, a sail, a place for passengers and a captain. All of this was entirely from their imaginations.
 
Lego Island built by Reception child
Here is another incredible example of the open ended nature of construction play. This is an airport created by another of our amazing Reception students. This student amazed me as he described the detail within his creation including a watchtower, escalator, a cafe and a fountain that was not yet switched on! 
 
I hope this gives you some sense of the potential for children to learn within this type of play. It allows children to express themselves, deepen their understanding of the world around them, connect with other children and, most importantly, develop personally and emotionally.
 
We have the most wonderful Early Years environment at JB and along with our amazing Early Years team, our children do flourish."
 
Author: Alan McCarthy, Primary Principal, Alice Smith School
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