Construction play, or constructive play, involves the manipulation of one or multiple elements in the play environment to build something new. It is inclusive of different construction methods such as disassembling, molding, sorting and stacking. Constructive play occurs whenever children construct cities and towers using blocks, draw murals with crayons or chalk on the walls, and play in the sand.
Children develop the ability to explore, research and modify their individual working theories about the physical, social and natural worlds. They also develop various mathematical and scientific concepts such as gravity, shapes, patterns, volume, weight and length. Construction play gives children a sense of accomplishment and empowers them by offering several opportunities to re-create experiences and express their own ideas about their environments. When children are comfortable manipulating materials and objects, they gain problem-solving skills that allow them to easily manipulate new concepts and ideas.
Parents should support constructive play by actively interacting with their children, helping them record what they do, answering and asking questions and creating construction play environments that have accessible and safe materials like creation toys and art supplies. While children engage in construction play, it is advisable for parents to offer ample support to the play but not direct it.