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This Zone is Under Construction…! 

Welcome to the Powerhouse of Construction Play: Pentagon’s Mega New Play Builder!

Wanted: apprentice architects and junior engineers to build a prestigious new development in your school playground. We’ll supply the tools - all you need is their skilled hands and creative minds!  

A young boy pretending to be in a car driving, using the play builder blocks to stir a vehicle

Construction play is brimming with educational and developmental benefits and loved by children of all ages - and so we are delighted to be able to bring you the news that our much-anticipated new Play Builder range has now landed in Pentagon’s Online Shop!  

The Play Builder collection is our latest innovation in open-ended, educational indoor/outdoor play resources for EYFS, KS1 and KS2 children. It’s packed full of opportunities for children to have fun together discovering, designing and building - solving problems, using their imaginations and working on their physical development at the same time. 

A close up picture of a young child placing down a plank on the construction blocks whilst another young child is walking along the plank

We’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of you and demonstrating our new products at educational conferences. Our fantastic young ‘play pioneers’ have put the Play Builder to the test for us at primary schools up and down the country! We’ve been so delighted with, and appreciative of, your feedback - and so we’ve given it our all to get the Play Builder ready to go for the new academic year. And here it is! 

“Play builder is essentially a development on the idea lots of schools have – using milk crates with loose planks for learning how to balance. Play builder is great for learning how to balance and walk on a plank at height, learning how to use alternate footing, ultimately allowing children to develop into confident and adaptive movers - but of course, you can do a lot more with it!”  

3 young children walking across the course they made from construction blocks and planks, they are wearing Hi-vis

- Ellen Jameson - Pentagon’s Product Designer and creator of the Play Builder. 

The Play Builder features a selection of component parts that cleverly fit together in different ways: 

  • Blocks (both squares and rectangles) that can be stacked on top of one another, either in a vertical line or following an offset pattern. They can also be joined at right angles for den-building 
  • Interlocking Lids to create platforms and joins 
  • Water Topper Blocks - these blocks use the same stacking mechanism as the others but have an extra-exciting feature for bringing in sensory and experimental water play! Grooves within the blocks hold our Water Channels so that children can run water, balls or anything else they choose down them. Perfect for creating rivers, waterfalls, runaway chutes and slides!  

 A ball rolling down the pipe of the construction blocks, a young child is pushing it down the half tube

  • Planks - both button planks and tenon planks. The tenon planks can be plugged into the sides of the blocks, creating lower balance beams, angles and ramps. The button planks come in shorter and longer sizes and can also be plugged in to create trails. The longer button planks are narrower, designed for more confident balancers, whereas the short button planks are wider and ideal for supporting more cautious walkers as they build their confidence.  
  • Ramps that can be plugged into the blocks to create secure entry/exit points for trail building. 
  • The Play Builder has a ‘real world’ construction feel for educational play. Children can experiment with joint mechanisms such as mortise and tenon, which is commonly used in the construction industry for connecting two pieces of wood or other materials together. These secure joints keep children safe as they climb and balance along the planks, and demonstrate real-life construction and engineering concepts to help children in developing their understanding of the world from a young age. 

A close up picture of a child slotting the tile on top of the construction block

The Play Builder is available to buy in three different sets: The Apprentice, The Architect and The Engineer. Each set boasts a different number and combination of blocks and planks, so there is something for all ages to build to their level of ability.  

"What the hand does, the mind remembers." – Dr. Maria Montessori 

Absolutely. Good opportunities for construction play, using resources that promote problem-solving, collaboration and imaginative play such as the Play Builder, are so important for young children to experience regularly.  

A group of young girls putting the planks into the construction blocks

When a child is allowed to use their hands to discover, as they do so naturally, those discoveries will always be more meaningful. The concepts children learn will be more deep-rooted, because in using their hands, they truly and actively experience their learning. The Play Builder endlessly supports and encourages children to: 

  • Learn how to work together, collaborating to make bigger challenges and moving heavier parts. They can work as a team to connect the items at opposite ends, developing their social skills and ability to communicate positively with others. Through turn taking and role allocation they will also assume different responsibilities and develop new leadership skills. 
  • Put their cognitive skills into practice through problem-solving, logical thinking and being creative and imaginative with their building solutions. Construction play allows children to quickly learn about methods that are effective and those that don’t work - a hugely positive example of being able to learn hands-on from their own mistakes, trial and error. 
  • Develop good mathematics skills as they learn about shapes and angles, space, size and measurement, distance and counting through working with all the component parts together to build their structures. 

5 young girls sat using the play builder as a car

  • Move their bodies, exercise and improve their physical wellbeing. The Play Builder requires children to move every part of their body as they work with it, enhancing fine motor skills as they grab and hold, gross motor skills and physical strength as they lift, carry and stack the blocks, and hand-eye coordination as they carefully place planks in their chosen places.
  • Building trails and putting them to the test, children will fine-tune their balance and agility, spatial awareness and core stability as they step up and down, twist and turn, move around and along the trails, working both on level surfaces and on different inclines.  
  • Experiment with new and developing vocabulary and language concepts - in particular positional and directional language, as they communicate with each other building and playing on and around their trails and structures.
  • Children’s language skills will continue to develop at greater depth as they are prompted to talk about the physical properties of the Play Builder, and of course there are plenty of different configurations that can be made with it to ignite further topics of conversation - planes, trains and automobiles, castles, mountains and journeys through the jungle - it’s all up to their imagination! 

A birds eye view of  the construction blocks in a trail like a plane, the children are around the blocks and putting them together

However you and your pupils choose to use your Play Builder from one day to the next, you can always rely on it for promoting independent and child-led play, boosting their confidence and self esteem. It is wholeheartedly designed to amuse, be used, and manageably moved by little hands themselves.  

3 young girls pretending the construction blocks are a car and the are pretending to stir a vehicle

Children firmly in the driver’s seat - whether they’re building control, planning adviser or health and safety inspector - the lessons they will learn, particularly around risk-taking, can easily be enjoyed in a safe environment with the Play Builder.  

We can’t wait to see what your constantly curious, clever and creative little construction experts will build with theirs!