At Tops Day Nurseries many of our nurseries have a construction play area. Construction play provides endless opportunities for a child’s math skills to grow.
Construction play can be as simple as giving children a couple of boxes to play with, children will stack, line, fill and empty the boxes. Children use their imaginations to make different things such as cars, boats, trains, planes and dens! During Construction play children should be offered items used in a real-life situation. Particularly items used in DIY. These items are particularly geared towards maths helping to further a Childs maths skills. With the support of a practitioner and the addition of such resources, the children’s explorations in construction play will lead to many mathematical experiences such as problem-solving, sorting, comparing, measuring and weighing.
The best larger scale resources are those that are often free, found or recycled! These can be enhanced by also using further tools and construction equipment. Storing these resources is a key part of construction play. When the resources are stored separately they are easily accessible for children, also making it easier for children to choose. It also makes tidy-up time much quicker and more meaningful as children are encouraged to see how certain resources can be grouped together because they share a similar purpose.
Construction play is a good way to ask children simple maths questions. For example “How many blocks are in your tower?” or “How tall is your building?” Children will inevitably challenge themselves and take risks in the construction play area, as they balance and test their own ideas in a purposeful way. This is where they will reassure their math skills, adding more boxes changing the height of a ramp to get the correct angle or finding the right size and shape material to complete a building project.
Having a varied selection of accessible resources will help maths learning flourish. The following items are great items for construction play! It is also a good idea to have them sorted by type.
- Materials to represent ramps
- Carpet Pieces
- Cardboard pieces
- Plastic tubes of different lengths/widths
- Plastic plumbing pipes
- Empty electricians wire spools in different sizes
- Small traffic cones
- Hard hats
- High-Vis safety jackets
- Safety Goggles
- Clipboard and pens, pencils and paper
- Catalogues showing building materials to buy
- Non – Functioning mobile phones
- Tape Measures
- Spirit Levels
- Set Squares
- T-Squares for checking angles
- Plumb lines for checking depth or vertical edges
- Sheets or dust sheets
- Lengths of materials
- Camouflage material or netting
- Large Pegs