Build Workshops are designed to be more structured and ideal for children from 24+ months. Seated at their own bench each week the children will work on a specific task and material.
Loose Parts Workshops are designed for children from 16+ months to 24+ months. Children can explore across 4 different workbenches with different construction materials.
We run two types of Workshops designed for children of different ages.
© 2014 the build it workshop | Design by Alan Moore
the benefits construction toys have on children.
Construction toys, and the way they allow young minds to develop and play with possibilities, have, almost literally, helped build the modern world as we know it today!
It is a well-documented scientific fact that children learn faster in their early years than they ever will again. It’s a time in their development when they don’t need static experiences; they need possibilities and open ended activities that will allow them to grow and develop to their full potential.
Give any modern day child a pile of blocks and, before long, he or she will be piling them up and in doing so, will be learning all the time. Surface friction, centres of gravity, and potential energy are just some of the scientific principles they will, unconsciously, be experimenting with.
Even the simple act of reaching for a block teaches the child how far they can reach before they fall over, the consequences of one’s actions.
One of the most important areas of play involves building with construction toys of all kinds. This is an important creative and learning experience for boys and girls of all ages. The benefits last for a lifetime.
Construction toys, of all the toy categories, offer the most open-end opportunities for children to design and create imaginative structure. Using abstract, modular forms, construction toys present a 'what if' question and allow children to construct and continually modify their own representations.
To some adults, child's play might seem trivial, but we know there is a lot of work going on, like skill building, problem solving and overcoming physical and mental challenges. Playing with a variety of building and creative products helps children build self-confidence and encourages their independent learning. For the fullest development of fine and gross motor movements and for the growth of eye-hand coordination, it is extremely important for children to play with a variety of materials both natural and manufactured, like wooden blocks and other construction materials. Giving children ample time to explore and play alone and together helps to make them more confident human beings.
There are not many toys that stand the test of time, to remain a favourite and a staple in most toy boxes. Building blocks and construction toys have done just that, they are classic, timeless and highly beneficial. The lessons and development associated with constructive play are plentiful, and will provide your child with a venue for creative thought and problem solving skills while honing their motor skills and fostering strong social development. Some of these include:
Your child’s imagination is the limit with construction toys and building blocks. The simplicity of building toys is what allows children to design and create whatever they can imagine and determine the best method in which to make their structure.
Thinking Skills and Problem Solving Skills
Foster the development of divergent and convergent thinking and problem solving skills, with various construction toys. Toys such as building blocks promote the development of divergent thinking and problem solving skills as opposed to convergent thinking. Because block play does not have a single purpose or outcome, it enhances divergent thinking in problem solving as divergent problems have multitude of solutions. Whereas alternatively, convergent thinking and problem solving activities, such as model toys, only have one outcome or solution.
Through their constructive play, your child will learn what will work and what will not in the mechanics of their structure. The trial-and-error nature of building blocks and other construction toys allows your child to determine the best possible method in which to create their structure. As they erect their design, and run into structural inadequacies, they will develop the ability to identify what is creating the problem in their structure, why it does not work and how to modify their method.
Construction toys provide understanding of how pieces fit together, and encourages comprehension of differing directions, shapes and space. Through critical thinking about whether a piece will fit, cause the structure to fall down or form the shape they desire, your child will utilize and foster spatial reasoning.
During your child’s play with construction toys, they are unwittingly preparing themselves for lessons to be learned later in their academic career. Construction toys are wonderful precursors for mathematical and scientific concepts.
The mathematical concepts associated with construction toys, include counting, comparison of length and width, names of shapes and how to combine certain geometric shapes to make other shapes. Children are even learning the basics of addition when they discover that two short blocks will be the same size as another block. As your child plays with their construction toys, they will also encounter concepts in science. When your child’s blocks inevitably tumble over, they will discover gravity and will enhance their understanding of mechanics and balance.
Gross and Fine Motor Skills
While your child is shifting, scooting, crawling and stretching to complete their masterpiece, they are helping to strengthen their gross motor skills. Small muscle development in hands and fingers through constructive play will help to hone fine motor skills as your child pieces together interlocking blocks or adds blocks to their structure with increasing skill and precision.
Hand-Eye Coordination and Dexterity
During your child’s play, they are enhancing their hand-eye coordination by understanding how they control their hands and finger movement and the connection between touch and sight. Through picking up blocks and placing them onto the structure or by connecting interlocking pieces, your child develops awareness of how what they see is related to their movement.
Communication and Co-operative Play
Foster strong communication and teamwork skills through play with construction toys. As children work together to build a structure, they must first learn to communicate their ideas, listen to their partners suggestions and collaborate to find the best method. Furthermore, by encouraging group play, your child will build confidence as they become more comfortable speaking and expanding their vocabulary.
Many play opportunities are based on principles of construction. Children have minds like sponges and it is our responsibility as parents to see to it that they absorb the right knowledge and information for them to grow and develop not just physically, but also emotionally, socially and intellectually.
It is crucial that all children from the very youngest ages enjoy time away from modern technology overload and find “special time” to enjoy the benefits of building together with parents and carers.
(Special thanks to everyone who participated in the creation of this document).