Construction & Engineering

Construction & Engineering

I had some amazing ‘builders’ in my class last year and the construction area was a favourite area in the classroom. I often share images of some of their fabulous creations (both inside and outdoors) over on Instagram, but haven’t always shared them over here. Some of these are from over there, some new and some are from previous posts…

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I first shared this image of our construction area in this post about my environment. The picture is a year old, but the area is pretty much the same. We have a mixture of wooden blocks, a few Community Playthings blocks, real terracotta bricks, small cable reels, planks, recycled materials & small world resources such as people & cars. The children also have access to baskets of logs, tin cans & fabric, which are shared with the small world area. Pegs & washing maidens are also in there, which are fab for den building. The easel is available to draw on & there is a box of clipboards & pencils too.

Construction area from Rachel (",)

You may remember from my outdoors post, that we have lots of loose parts outside, which are perfect for building and creating with. The most popular resources are tyres, planks, crates, cable reels, traffic cones, blocks, foam bricks and (a few) real house bricks…

Loose parts outdoors, often used for building and constructing - from Rachel (",)

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Books

Here are a few of our favourite books linked with building…

Construction and Engineering books - from Rachel (",)

‘Changes, Changes’ is fab to put out if you have coloured blocks…

Building inspired by the Changes, Changes book - from Rachel (",)

The book, ‘When I Build With Blocks’ is a real favourite. I read it to the children after I noticing that it was quite simple and low-level constructing that was happening. Look at the fabulous engineering that occurred straight after I read it and reminded them of some of the resources we have…

Independent building inspired by the book, 'When I Build With Blocks' - from Rachel (",)

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Treasure Trail

I loved this completely independent engineering that happened outdoors one day. Lots of concentration, perseverance, collaboration and problem solving as they worked out how to balance the loose parts and what they wanted to do. They only decided it was a treasure trail towards the end (I think it started as a car track), when one of them declared “We need a map!” and another added, “And an X marks the spot!”
Of course, this kind of building comes after lots of play and support with the adults as we’d been working with them for months. They come to us having not played with large loose parts like this before and it takes a while before they have the confidence to explore them.

Click on the picture to take you to the video of the trail I shared on Instagram…

Treasure Trail, pirate map and an 'X marks the spot' - from Rachel (",)

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Water Pipe

This is another video over on Instagram (click on the picture to take you to the video)…

The boys built a ‘water pipe’ – they said a sewer pipe had burst into the water pipe and they were just fixing it. Sand is was used as cement…

Water pipe from Rachel (",)

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Storm House

The boys made a house to keep them safe (they said a storm was coming) – it had roof tiles, windows and a ‘cool seat’ on the roof…

Storm house - from Rachel (",)

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Structure

Here’s another video of a structure shared over on Instagram (click on the picture to take you to the video)…

Construction outdoors shared by Rachel (",)

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Risky Play

Sometimes building involves taking calculated risks…

Risky play from Rachel (",)

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Castles

Some more recent structures…

Independent castle building - from Rachel (",)

Building a castle with different materials - from Rachel (",)

Look at the symmetry in this structure…

Roads at the bottom of the castle - from Rachel (",)

Images from previous posts (click on the photo to take you to the original post)…

Castle building - from Rachel (",)

Collaborative castle building- from Rachel (",)

Building with a variety of loose parts - from Rachel (",)

I love providing mirrors for them to build on –  lots of fabulous discussion as they notice the reflections beneath…

Building castles from Rachel (",)

Castles on the light panel with 3D shapes from Rachel (",)

Building with Magnatiles 

Obviously, these are used in the construction area too, but the light panel and OHP really highlights the colours…

Building with magnatiles on the OHP from Rachel (",)

Small World Play

There are cars and people in the construction area, but often things from the small world area (housed next to the construction area) creep in too…

Dinosaurs in the construction area - from Rachel (",)

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Shaving Cream

Fab to add to a tray  of bricks…

Bricks and shaving cream from Rachel (",)

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Building on a Small Scale Outdoors

It’s fabulous to take rainbow blocks outdoors on a sunny day…

Building outdoors and creating colourful shadows - from Rachel (",)

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Landmarks

Some mini building inspired by famous landmark miniatures…

Building inspired by famous landmarks- from Rachel (",)

… also inspired some larger-scale building in the construction area…

This is the ‘Eiffel Tower’…

Building the Eiffel Tower (and a road and car park) - from Rachel (",)

Another ‘Eiffel Tower’…

Another Eiffel Tower - from Rachel (",)

A “building from Italy”…

A building from Italy - from Rachel (",)

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Animal Hospital

Lots of collaboration with this complex structure. It includes blocks, cars, people, animals and the Grimms rainbow & semi-circles. The monkey you see is apparently in ‘animal hospital’ – I love how they balanced the piece of rainbow with this! Click on the picture to see the video…

Animal hospital - from Rachel (",)

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Various Pictures 

Lots of these have been shared over on Instagram…

Crate & Plank House

Crate and plank house - from Rachel (",)

Kings & their Thrones

They used real bricks at the bottom and then foam bricks for the rest of the ‘thrones’…

Kings and their thrones - from Rachel (",)

Balancing

Lots of perseverance and problem solving with this…

Balancing bricks on cones - from Rachel (",)

Building Cars

Car play outdoors - from Rachel (",)

Den Building in the Rain

Child initiated den building with loose parts - from Rachel (",)

“A Bench for Everyone”

'A bench for everyone' - from Rachel (",)

Bridge Building

Bridge building - from Rachel (",)

Jail!

Jail! - from Rachel (",)

Using Real Bricks

Loose parts play from Rachel (",)

Car Ramps and Track

Car ramps and track - from Rachel (",)

Building with a Variety of Loose Parts 

Building with a variety of loose parts - from Rachel (",)

Building and Balancing

Building outdoors- from Rachel (",)

Skateboard Park 

Skateboard park from Rachel (",)

Building a ‘Bridge House’ 

Building a 'bridge house' - from Rachel (",)

Building a House for some ‘Peace and Quiet’!

Building a house for some peace and quiet - from Rachel (",)

Careful Engineering

Outdoor engineering from Rachel (",)

Builders at work!

Engineers and Architects - Builders at work... from Rachel (",)

Not bad for 3 and 4 year olds! 🙂

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Back to school for me next week. Good luck if it’s the same for you. I wonder what this year has in store for us!

Thanks for reading!

Don’t forget that you can also find me on FacebookInstagramTwitter &  Pinterest

Would love you to come & say hello! 🙂 

– Rachel (“,)

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