Jump to content
About Us

Large Construction Observation


Recommended Posts

Need some insight from others so natually thought of you all!


For my latest assignment I am observing children exploring large construction. They have a range of open-ended materials to explore. I have observed them climbing into cardboard boxes, exploring what it is like to be inside the box, covering the box, themselves with blankets, camouflage nets etc, taking turns etc.


How can I support their learning and broaden their experience, stimulate or challenge them, using this possible interest/schema in enclosing and enveloping.


So far I have thought about adding tunnels, asking them how they could make a t-pee (sp?) out of long cardboard rolls to cover and make a den for themselves. Just wondered if anybody else could offer any insight, brain seems to have gone all foggy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As well as using their own bodies, introduce other items for them to enclose / envelope. Provide a range of small to large containers and items, plus covers etc.

PSE - organising, negotiating, sharing plans/ideas

CLL - positional and size language.

KUW - designing and building

Phys - perception of space, balancing

Maths - size, shape, volume

CREA - role play, design, exploration of material ie: what types of material is good for folding, enveloping.


Have fun.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if this is helpful or not - it depends on your assignment really but your post reminded me a lot of a group of boys at our nursery at the moment where we are nearly totally child-initiated. This week they were exploring the wet sand and asked me about building. I showed them how to form bricks using the brick mould and trowel and we looked a a real wall and noticed how the second row of bricks were offset to make the wall strong. They explored this endlessly in the sand and then it was extended in the duplo. They showed all the children at circle time how and why they needed to build the wall carefully. They have a really strong thread running through their role play too. Its Star Wars, Power Rangers and Scooby Doo. Yesterday they built a duplo Scooby Doo spooky house and added sound effects. They explored how to make their house dark and scary, something they have repeatedly experienced in their large construction play. For after Easter I am trying to access some large plastic bricks or similar, plus real bricks that they can experiment with too.... there will be lots of problem solving then!


I would suggest you do a few more obs (maybe you already have) and see what the children's current interests are and how you could incorporate their roleplay, current interests etc into your large construction. Why not mindmap with your children and see where it takes you? After all, the EYFS is really holistic in its approach to the areas of learning........


Can I come and play too? It sounds really exciting!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks for all your replies which have been very helpful.


As you say, I think I need to do more observations, the children do seem to be enjoying exploring the materials at the moment.


Several of the children are 'being cats' in the boxes.


I thought I could add furry animals, puppets, perhaps hiding in tunnels, small containers, smaller pieces of material.


Some of the children are exploring he camouflage material, covering themselves. One little boy asked me what it was so I showed him. The next day he was able to explain to me that 'you hide things'.


I thought I could hide a dog under the trees and cover it with the camouflage netting (or perhaps it should be a cat), take in my dog's lead and ask the children to help me find him. Then give them opportunity to hide things. Maybe getting hotter, colder to tie with a letters and sounds activity that springs to mind?


I also thought about having a matching type game, with sheets of patterned paper so that children can choose what would be the best place for say a dalmation, tiger, zebra, elephant to hide.


Then think of a creative activity where they could cover things with different coloured bits and bobs - work to do on this!!


Read books about pattern and camouflage, Elmer springs to mind, can anyone think of others?


LJW - am interested in your suggestion for mind mapping with the children, how would you go about doing this?


What do you think? Have I gone off on the wrong wavelength?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure there's a prescribed way to mindmap, at least not in our Nursery! You can just do a brainstorm type activity on a piece of paper and note all the children's suggestions which you could couple with your obs to inform your planning or, better still why not use a box instead of paper? Encourage the children to think about what's good about their box play, their ideas and suggestions and scribe for them all over the box? Let them have a go too? How much more child initiated can you be? That's at the heart of EYFS isn't it. It sounds to me like you are well on track - keep going!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Encourage the children to think about what's good about their box play, their ideas and suggestions and scribe for them all over the box? Let them have a go too?



Like it! Was trying to think of how to use 'writing for a purpose'.


Maybe I could suggest camouflaging the boxes as well! Can think of one or two children who would love an excuse to use all that glue, especially if I offered different sized paint brushes - good physical development and building on their smaller scale junk modelling and love of doing water painting outside.


Thanks very much!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)