The joy of building

All around the globe, children are busy building their world.

On beaches and coastlines, they build walls and channels, towers and moats. They array shells and seaweed, debris and driftwood.

They shape space. They adapt the environment. They spend hours building… deriving endless fun, satisfaction and pride.

Peer into any wooded area – below the tree canopy – children will be found collecting sticks and bracken, bark and leaves, twigs and mud.

Propping… sheathing… weaving… they erect dens, cubbies, grasshuts and treehouses.

It is an all-consuming passion; there is a place for every piece; everyone can contribute.

In the densest urban areas, children are busy constructing their environment, using recycled, waste and found materials, old tyres, scraps of wood, sheet and packing materials.

In inner central London, odd shaped land and former WWII bomb sites serve this crucial activity. Children build camps and dens; they make bridges and swings; dig holes and shape the ground. They constantly transform.

This isn’t just childhood expression or random play. It’s a universal drive that spans our entire lives, rooted in community and healthy development.

Building helps us to grow – not just into adulthood – but as a life long practice that engages our surroundings, our senses and our place in the world.