There’s something magical about theme-based learning! When a child discovers something they want to learn more about, thematic learning allows us as the parents or educators to dive deep on that topic with them, investigating and exploring as we go.
When our little boy was younger, he became quite fascinated by construction vehicles. He had a construction themed birthday party and his room was quickly filled with diggers, excavators and graders. He’s 4 years old now and still loves this Construction Vehicle episode by Blippi!
Today I’d like to share some of my favourite construction themed play invitations from over the years. My hope is that these ideas will inspire your playful investigations with your own construction loving little learner!
Construction Tuff Tray
My husband Kurtis set up this amazing construction small world on our Tuff Tray a few years back and it was SUCH a hit! It’s still one of my favourite small world tables to date. These little small worlds are perfect for developing a whole range of oral language skills as they play.
We picked up a bag of pebbles from Bunnings and added a few large boulders from the garden and some road tape which we’d found at Kmart. The little construction vehicles were CAT brand from Kmart and we added our little Hape Crane from The Creative Toy Shop*. You can get a Tuff Tray and Stand from Modern Teaching.
Construction Bookish Play
We have quite the collection of construction themed books but Roadworks by Sally Sutton* is one of our favourites! We paired it with one of our favourite Usborne books, Look Inside Building Sites. I used our Kmart tray and CAT vehicles to create a little small world using polenta as the base. Yep! It’s perfect for small world play and you can store it in a sandwich bag when you’re done to reuse over and over.
When we use polenta as a sensory base, we always pop an old bed sheet down first. This catches any of the little spills which we can just pour straight back into the tray when we’re finished.
We’ve also used brown rice and yellow split corn as a base for our small world play in the past too. Again, you can store this in a sandwich bag to reuse over and over…but I don’t recommend trying to separate the pieces once you’re done!
Construction Dramatic Play
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I LOVE dramatic play. It’s one of my favourite ways to inject some literacy and numeracy learning into our playtime. We set up a construction themed dramatic play space for our little learners which you can read more about here.
Perhaps one of my favourite parts of this dramatic play space were our Melissa and Doug Cardboard Building Blocks* which we borrowed from my mum. The kids LOVED building big towers and then knocking them right down! And don’t get me started on their cute little construction vests!!
If you’d like to set up a little construction site for your little learners, you can grab the printables from my store right here. Be sure to tag me in your photos on Instagram at @littlelifelonglearners so I can see what you get up to!
Construction Name Building
I recently created some printables for my Little Play Club members so that they could practice name recognition with their little learners! They used these little mats (pictured below) to write their child’s name and then wrote the corresponding letters onto large pebbles. Their little learners then practiced building their name with the letter rocks!
This was such a fun way to bring a little bit of letter and name recognition to our Transport learning. You can grab these printables (and soooo many more) over in the Little Play Club.
We also love being able to use puzzles for our themed learning! I absolutely love these Petit Collage beginner puzzles for little learners. I usually take a photo of the completed puzzles (or you can use photos from Google) and print those off to laminate and add to a tray. This gives our little learners a reference to work from especially if the puzzle is new to them. It also keeps our boxes in good condition!
I hope you’ve found some simple construction play ideas in this blog post! Over in the Little Play Club, we’ve done an entire Play Pack on Transport! Every month our beautiful members get a brand new play pack full of printables, simple play ideas and activities for the theme. We only open the doors to new members a few times a year so be sure to pop your name on the wait list!
*This blog post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). All of the products I link to are things we have personally used and loved!