Solo – Build under a theme

In this variation of 'Building under a Theme', the child gets the opportunity to explore and gain knowledge by building within a set theme and with shared materials.
The task

We are building under a theme and with shared materials. The purpose of the activity is to practice building and to create a feeling of comfort with the materials and the routines.

Solo – Build under a Theme We create a motivating framework for the child. 



Suggestion for introduction

We create a motivating framework for the child. 

For example, we can say: “We each build something within the same theme, e.g. dragons and imaginary animals. This means that we each build a dragon or another imaginary animal which we decide for ourselves how we are going to build it. If we feel like it, we can maybe build where they live, what they eat, or something else.


The activity can be adapted to the framework of one lesson and varied according to the time available and the child’s prerequisites.


We can use Lego that we are familiar with, or wooden blocks, colored cubes, magnetic tiles, paper, or something else. The most important thing is that the materials motivate us to get started. If we want to, we can also mix the materials.

During the activity

During the play session, the child encounters challenges and successes, where we can stop and help spot what is difficult or what is going well. We can do this in several ways:

Reflection routines 

When we get the opportunity to reflect together with the child on what challenges or discoveries arise along the way, we can use one or more reflection routines. It could be, for example, a learning metaphor with a social strategy that we practice, an emoji that describes the feeling we have right now, or a rating of how well we think the building is going. In this way, a reflection routine can help to show and put into words the experiences that the child has during the play session.

Facilitating questions

We can ask facilitating questions to the child along the way, as they naturally arise in the building process. In this way, we facilitate the play session so that we continue the play and at the same time learn something from it. For example: 

  • I see that you have stopped building. I wonder how we can continue from here? 
  • I see that you have encountered a challenge. Should we try to solve it together? 
  • Try to notice what you are doing right now. Do you think this is a collaborative strategy? 
Show and Tell

Finally, in the play session, we give a Show and Tell of our construction, so that we have the opportunity to share our experiences, reflections, and feelings about the construction process.

First, we talk about our model and the process of building it. During the Show and Tell, we can use reflection routines and reflective questions to support the discoveries that have been made. For example:

  • What went well? 
  • What was difficult?
  • Is there anything that you want to do differently the next time we build under a theme?
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