Construction and transportation imaginative play appeals to kids of various ages, stages, and interests. Pretending is a vital part of development.
Kids will play with only cars, trucks, and other transportation toys without anything else. Well, without other kinds of toys that is, but with their own actions and imagination. Although it sounds like a contradiction, pretend play is both vast and tiny at the same time, both unlimited and yet highly structured and controlled.
A child can place cars and trucks anywhere in time and space, but the play might be limited to how two trucks interact with each other. Nevertheless, this boy’s dad says his son will play with these for long stretches of time. Sometimes, the trucks talk in words and other times, their conversation is truck noises like revving engines and changing gears.
Or, play could be about going off to work in a truck. This child is pretending he is a worker and has loaded his lawnmowers in the back. At this moment in time, his world is limited to how he imagines it feels to have a job, to explore the world of work. Figuring out the world is an enormous challenge and imaginative and pretend play is a way to explore one small bit at a time.
Kids will also play with only construction toys, stacking them up to make a tower, bridge, robot, spaceship, castle, or something else they imagine. These toys might be wooden blocks, plastic bricks, or some other material.
Combining transportation and construction toys expands play. Suddenly, children can create towns and cities. They are feeling confident about creating and exploring a bigger chunk of the world through their imagination. It might be the size of a small square on the rug.
The construction and transportation imaginative play may take up the entire living room. In either case, and for play in between, there is a great deal more happening than we see on the outside. Wouldn’t it be fascinating if we could see inside a child’s mind too?