We’ve all seen the glossy Pinterest construction areas and thought ‘ Wow they look lovely! ‘ but in the back of your mind have you been thinking but isn’t it just playing with lego?
There is no doubt it is a very popular area of the classroom especially with certain children who would be there all day if able… the benefits of lego and fine-motor skills are widely known. There is also a lot of cooperation involved in the negotiations about who’s having which bricks etc. But in Year 1 we need to move the learning on from EYFS and add in the challenge.
I have organised the area into different zones, the lego is separated into different colours using an Ikea Cutlery tray and alongside the bricks, I have laminated pages from a well worn ‘Lego ideas ‘book for inspiration.
There are also Lego design sheets to plan their projects on. If they want to keep the models until the end of the week they have to write a label and write who the constructors are- great writing opportunity.
The wooden bricks are also organised into colour groups, shape and size. Also available are lots of ‘ loose parts objects’ to embellish their creations.
Train track, cars and the village blocks are all kept here too and it’s wonderful to see how the children use all these elements in conjunction. Around the environment there are examples of famous buildings from around the world and the children are encouraged to try and replicate them.
In a recent Maths lesson on 3D shape, it was so engaging for both the children and me when we used the area to explore naming the properties of 3D shapes, creating patterns and models. A lot better than any worksheet!!
Also by using the area directly in the Maths lesson ( I positioned myself there and called the children to me), a number of interesting things happened. The children who are most comfortable there explored other areas of the environment and the children who had never been interested in construction, after their time working in here, returned the next day to work independently to build.