A couple years ago I worked in a nursery in Australia. The weather was gorgeous and we spent all our time outdoors in a spacious garden kept very tidy so as not to attract snakes and spiders. However, we noticed that our older children just ran around the garden, unable to engage in their play.
One evening we staff put our heads together and realized we needed to make a change. Our garden was too sterile. With a group of dads and other volunteers, we transformed a small grove of shade-trees into a mini adventure playground with logs and woodchips, outdoor blocks and other loose parts. The change in the children’s play was dramatic. They settled down and began to construct things.
“Constructive play is what young children do naturally,” writes Francis Wardle. "It is critically important for young children, and should be encouraged and supported both in the classroom and on the playground."
Wardle has some great ideas on how to encourage and justify constructive play. Read the full article here.