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The Simplicity of Play

The Simplicity of Play

Younger children learn best through play! It’s easy to forget that although it may seem simplistic and unchallenging, the benefits received are unbelievable. Play relieves stress, improves brain function, increases creativity, boosts cooperation and social skills, and more!

The good news is, you don’t need a lot of fancy toys to instill the value of play in your students or children. Selecting a few solid items, such as blocks, sensory centers, and more, sets up so many different opportunities to spark all kinds of fun, open-ended playtimes.

Maria Cantillana is the perfect example. Finding one central piece for her play area, she creates different types of play opportunities on the daily! Read her story below.


I am a stay-at-home mom with two children ages 4.5 and 3.5. Before the pandemic hit, they went to a homeschool preschool twice a week. Once everything shut down almost a year ago, I went into panic mode knowing that I had to keep them fully engaged and entertained in the only place they could do so safely - at home.

Thinking through all the educational aspects I wanted to cover was overwhelming. How could I simplify my needs? I started searching for an activity table to use daily with our crafts as well as playing and learning.

I came across the Constructive Playthings Toddler Manipulative Table, and it is by far one of the best purchases I’ve ever made--we use our table daily! Although simple, it creates different opportunities for my kids to play, from participating in Zoom art classes and virtual preschool to creating sensory activities, engaging in block play and entering the magical world of literacy and reading. It’s the perfect size for two kids to work side-by-side without getting in each other’s way.

Check out my Instagram feed to see how many times you spot this one table--but here are a few of my favorite setups!



I set up a small "world" based on the book, "We’re Going on a Bear Hunt". We read the book then the kids continued playing with the sensory materials I laid out.

Pictured is the Constructive Playthings Toddler Manipulative Table.



Block play is a favorite, and I love how they can build small cities and use their imaginations to keep the community concept alive, but their blocks are contained in the table by the raised sides.

Pictured is the Constructive Playthings Toddler Manipulative Table.



We love incorporating our light table play right here on the same activity table. This time, I read the book "Mix It Up" by Herve Tullet, then discussed color mixing using red, yellow and blue water beads on top of the blocks. The kids had so much fun seeing how the colors of the water beads changed on top of each block like magic.

Pictured is the Constructive Playthings Toddler Manipulative Table and the Glitter Water Blocks.



This is one of our favorite activities! We find items starting with the letter of the week they’re learning in virtual preschool and we collect them on our table. It helps the kids work on finding items with the specified letter and develop their spatial awareness when sorting out the items together for the debut photo of the activity.

Pictured is the Constructive Playthings Toddler Manipulative Table.



 Toddler Manipulative Table - KRP-323 


Tree Rings - TEB-12 


Soft-Sorting Food Bags - HAL-50


Wooden Nesting Houses & Figures - KRP-507


MOX Ball Set of 3 - MOL-01

Have a moment to share with us? Be sure to tag us and use the hashtag #constructiveinsights in your post. We’d love to potentially feature you on our social feeds and/or in an upcoming email!