Building a blanket hut doesn’t take long and provides hours of fun. Our childcare experts talk about the learnings from this popular children’s activity.
Creating secret forts, caves, hideouts, dens and playhouses isn’t just any random kind of play. It is one of the most common games for children around the world, at their homes, schools and childcares.
An ordinary play hut can be seen as a multitude of things through a child’s eyes. It is a work of imagination, a space where they can defend their place from aliens or even just a place for a moment of calm. Here they are developing and controlling environments of their own and enjoy freedom from the world of adult rules.
What your child is learning through hut building?
When your child has built a hut, they have created a structure. A LOT OF imagination, planning and co-ordination has gone into creating something that is strong, helping them use and hone their engineering skills. This is even before further imagination goes into decorating the hut, where creativity comes into play.
Here are some of the things your child has learnt when they build a hut:
- Using their imagination
- Creating, modifying and improving
- Thinking logically
- Problem solving
- Practicing co-operation as building is often undertaken with peers. Social and communication skills are important to define how many every child plays a different role in hut building, and how many ideas need to be amalgamated into one in order to create a hut
- Learning prepositions as using of words such as in, out, under, above etc is common when a child sets out to build a hut
- Understanding themselves as they start to build a separate space for themselves
- Understanding of nature, especially if the hut is built outside. Concepts of gravity, weight, resistance and balance are inherent to hut-building and the children learn these as the create their own mega structure
How can you support this activity?
The most important role you play is to support and be encouraging. Don’t worry about your messy lounge – sit back and enjoy what your child creates.
Here are some other ways you can support this activity:
- Supply material. Anything can spark a child’s imagination to build their secret space. Duct tape, card board, sheets, pillows, blankets, sticks, rope, toys … enable your child to expand their imagination and provide the materials they ask for, and more.
- Create the physical space for them to build a hut if it is inside your house. Or help them find the perfect spot in the backyard or in a playground to build.
- Mental space. This is the most important one. Don’t rush to help your child when they are stuck. Let them think of the problem and find a solution themselves. You may steer their solutions, but don’t take it over.
A hut can be anything to your child – a waka, rocket, house, fire station, hospital, shop … most importantly it is a work of your child’s imagination. Enjoy it!
At Home2Grow, we support the learning of the children in our care by providing our home-based educators with the equipment needed to unlock learning, as well as regular training on how to support early childhood learning based on the Ministry of Education’s curriculum.