Part Five: To a Child, Love is Spelled T I M E

Spending Time in Construction Play with Kids

We do not need to be architects or planners to play with blocks, Lego, trains, and construction toys with kids. The time we spend with children is what builds.

Sometimes, toys themselves are optional; kids will play with rocks, sandwich containers, left-over wood bits, empty boxes, and any treasure they find. They might create a house, a rocket, a robot, a castle, or an entire city.

construction play with kidsThey do not necessarily want our help either, but they enjoy having us there with them to see what they have done, hear their words, and to sympathize when something falls.

Z’s dad is pretty good when it comes to building trains but it’s not his day job. It’s not the day job for most parents and caregivers, either. But Z likes when his dad spends time with him playing trains. Dads aren’t the only ones that can be part of the action when it comes to construction toys. So can moms and other significant adults in a child’s life.

Construction play can happen outdoors as well as inside. Sandboxes, yards, and patios are fun spaces. Both girls and boys enjoy building activities and putting various items together to make something else. Construction play involves imagination as well as action. Some toys like cars and trucks and dinosaurs have more action, while doll houses and furniture have less, but they all of them include much imagination.

Children can, and do, play with these toys by themselves or with other children. Certainly, they should be able to play independently without needing adults to direct what they are doing. However, when we do spend time with kids, we are putting together more than toys. We are connecting with them to create enduring memories and to build structures of the heart. What kind of construction play do you and your child do together?


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