Construction Toys Benefit Coordination, Creativity and Collaboration

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of creating something out of nothing, and that is exactly what makes construction toys — those with building and engineering components — so appealing to kids and parents alike.

By their very nature, construction toys encourage hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. As kids work to put blocks, building bricks, or other pieces together correctly, they must use a level of care and physical awareness that isn’t required for every type of play.

Many construction toys also introduce an element of creativity. While some building sets come with specific, step-by-step instructions, many construction toys provide kids the opportunity to create whatever they would like, or at least to personalize their creations. It is an interesting, fun challenge to see what kids can concoct using their imaginations and the building materials in front of them.

Especially for older kids, construction toys can certainly be a solitary activity. However, they can also provide opportunities for collaborative play — whether that means getting an adult’s help to fit a piece in exactly the right place or collaborating with a friend or sibling for a creative build (just like The LEGO Movie 2!). Working with someone else on a construction toy requires kids to think through their vision, share their thoughts, and compromise to honor the ideas of everyone playing.

Here are some tips and tricks for getting the most out of construction toys:

  1. Try, try again! The beauty of most construction toys is that kids can rebuild them over and over. Whether kids are unhappy with their creative building project, make a mistake on a build, or need the pieces for another project, this provides an opportunity to teach kids about trying again to fix their mistakes or to create something even better.
  2. Combine! Who says construction bricks and wooden blocks can’t mingle? Encourage kids to expand their construction power by combining sets, when appropriate.
  3. Set creative limits: For a fun twist on construction toys, give kids some creative guidelines and see what they build. For example, challenge them to build the tallest (stable) structure possible, build something with only the yellow pieces, or build something using 20 random pieces you select. Putting these minor limitations on kids’ creativity will help them practice problem solving and may produce some awesome results!

Madeleine Buckley (