A characteristic of constructive play, central to Piaget’s theory of development, is that the player must do the constructing. Meaningful learning is more likely when the child invents the alternative ways of doing something. In fact, if the child is only imitating alternatives modeled by a teacher or a parent, we do not call it play; it becomes drill. But if the child invents some new way to do something, the chances are that she/he will also better understand how that new way relates to the other ways that she/he has performed the act in the past.
How can we, as preschool educators, elementary educators, and parents offer opportunities for children to be engaged in constructive play? It seems extremely important that we continue to support constructive play in an effort to build up communities that will be able to face a different world.