Constructive Play for Toddlers

Published: 11th December 2009
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Toddlers learn through playing skills that will serve them throughout their lives. They learn how to play alone, with other children their age, children that are on different skill levels, and with adults. There are different types of play that they engage in throughout the day. Constructive play is the type of play that is directed at a goal, uses the imagination, or involves other people.

As you raise a toddler, it is important to make sure that they are given the opportunity to engage in constructive play every day. Children that watch too much television are disconnected from the real world, socially and developmentally stunted. Witnessing play and interaction is much different from experiencing it firsthand. Adults need to make sure that children are constantly directed out of detrimental states of mind and into constructive activities.

Constructive play gives children an interest in making parents proud. It gives them an underlying sense of hope and a positive outlook on the world. Constructive activities make it possible for them to feel loved and develop a positive self-image. Without constructive play, toddlers will be lacking the life skills that they need to be happy, productive adults that are capable of solving problems and managing emotions.

Coming up with constructive ideas to keep a toddler busy is not always easy, but with a little effort, you may find that it's not that hard. To a child, everything is exciting and new. Playing with things that aren't necessarily considered toys helps to develop imagination. Talk to your toddler as much as you can. Ask them questions about what they think you could do with certain objects. Do not discount their ideas. Commend them for coming up with ways to solve problems or new ways of using things.

Many adults have trouble solving problems and imagining the future because they are set on using things as they are intended. The term for this is "functional fixedness". Constructive play and imaginative games help children to have a more flexible understanding of how things work. This skill is invaluable as an adult. Pretend play gives children the creative ability to overcome obstacles and solve problems.

Start working your toddler's brain up to solving difficult problems by engaging them in constructive play. Certain developmental and preschool toys can help children get to that higher cognitive level of understanding that is necessary to expand their creative mind. Learning toys, such as an activity table, teach children cause and effect. After they figure out what happens, then they will start to try to control the outcomes. Use other toys or items around the house to show them how they can expand their play even further.

About the Author: Jim Ford is the President of KinderMark, a family owned and managed business which sells waiting room toys and waiting room furniture used in doctor's offices, hospitals, auto dealers, dentists offices and libraries. Preschool toys such as an activity table and learning toys are favorites for pediatric offices. For more information, visit

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