In just over three months, we’ll be moving house and we’re moving all the way to lovely Lincolnshire. At the moment, our new home is having work done to it and there is a lot of talk about builders, kitchens and so on. We’re all so excited about the move but J is extra excited. To channel this excitement about his new house, I thought I’d make him a workshop so he can make all the new things we need!
To make the workshop, I used:
- two low tables put together
- 4 baskets
- a craft mat (it’s non-slip so keeps his construction toys from slipping about)
- toy tools
- 4 different construction materials to make the play as open ended as possible
- a notepad and pen
- toy phone
- Builder’s goggles and mask
J got straight to work banging with the hammer and sawing the toys. Construction toys are the simplest toy to encourage creativity and they are completely open ended. Children can make or do anything with them; this is the beauty of them. For this workshop, I used Sticklebricks, Megablocks, wooden blocks and my all time, absolute favourite… Wedgits! These have proven popular with J right up to Grandpa. We all love them!
To exemplify how open ended the play is, J was making a house with the stickle bricks and kept trying to make it ‘level!’ He sawed and banged and chatted to himself and finally solved the problem. He added two smaller bricks to the centre pieces to match the outer sides (see below). Fantastic problem solving and mathematical understanding of comparison, length and height.
The Wedgits are just SO beautiful. They can be used in so many ways and J is getting better and better at using them. At first, he used to make a pyramid every time. Well he’s now fully aware of the word pyramid and always starts with one before getting more creative!
Here is one of his more sophisticated creations! Whenever my nine year old twin niece and nephew come over they LOVE playing with this toy!
The workshop lends itself to speaking and listening, role play activity too as J (aka Bob) was taking calls left, right and centre, taking orders for new houses, statues and kitchens. His calls quite often ended with either, ‘No problem mate!’ or ‘Okay then sir!’ What a contrast! I think Bob has a split personality!!
It was also a lovely opportunity for J to mark make by ‘writing’ his list of things to make and he even drew out a plan of the house! He’s definitely been watching us!! Ha – doesn’t miss a trick!
All in all, J loves his workshop and I know it will be well played with after our weekend away. Such a simple activity using construction toys we all have lying around. Just presenting them in a context, giving them a purpose and showing them in a new way gives them a whole new lease of life making them far more appealing to play with.
What did J learn?
- Creativity in open ended play
- Using imagination and taking on roles
- Mark making and drawing
- Mathematical concept of shape and measure
- Colour recognition
- Fine and gross motor control