We are the Play Learning Lab, run by Dr. Angela Pyle at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto.

© 2020 by Play Learning Lab



Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study

45 Walmer Road, Room 320
Toronto, ON M5R 2X2

Constructive Play

Free Play

Learning Goals: Building, Structures, Child-directed Play, Creativity


  • Provide various building materials for the students to use to build and create.

  • Inspire their play by providing books about buildings and photos of structures.

  • This play can also occur outside with students building using natural materials such as rocks, sticks, ice, and snow.

Suggested Resources:

  • Various building materials (wooden blocks, Lego, Duplo, bungs, plastic cups, pattern blocks, unifix cubes, milk crates, cardboard boxes, etc.)

Why is it Free Play?

  • The play is initiated and directed by the students. They select the materials and chose what to build.

  • The educator selects the various materials to put out in the building centre and during play they act as an observer.