The holidays are a fun and exciting time of year, especially for children. The decorations, delicious food, and family and friends visiting are great parts of the season. But let’s be honest: what most kids really look forward to is unwrapping the brightly colored gifts nestled under the tree. Often the best gifts for children are toys that encourage play. While fun for the child, these toys also help them learn about their world. As Albert Einstein said, “Play is the highest form of research.” Many of these types of toys relate to building things. From simple blocks for younger children to more advanced Lego sets, building toys encourage creativity and help develop an understanding of concepts like stability, balance and support. building-doesn't-need-to-stop(web)But despite the benefits of these building toys, we’re taught that at some point we need to stop playing with them. It’s time to put away the Legos® and other toys and grow up. But what if we told you the building doesn’t need to stop? All the hours of play as a kid don’t need to be thrown away. Rather, they can form the foundation of a solid career. Children who can build incredible Lego® houses might make for great architects or civil engineers. Those who love playing with toy trucks can make a comfortable living as a heavy equipment operator. Kids who love art projects might enjoy the craftsmanship needed for a career as a carpenter or welder.  Almost all building toys are inspired by real-life things in the world of construction. Craft professions require extensive skills and problem-solving abilities — the earliest base of which comes from playing with toys. Lego-House-Real-HouseSo this holiday season, remember that the joy and excitement of unwrapping a new construction-focused toy doesn’t need to fade away with age. Continue to feed and nurture that spark of creativity. Maybe in a few years it won’t be through a toy, but through a shop class or CTE program. Keep building. 

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  1. Jackie | Jan 14, 2019

    I have been in the CTE business for 30 years and I believe this to be one of the best written pieces that embraces the promotion and development of skilled trades in kids.  Proof of Mr. Arnholz's article can be seen at the National Building Museum in Washington DC.  One of the exhibits is a playroom is filled with over-sized Lego's, Tinkertoy's and Lincoln Logs.  The room is filled with children building structures of all shapes and interestingly the room is quiet.  You can see their concentration and their imagination at work. We need more of this.

  2. JackMile | Jan 14, 2019

    Like many rookie career and technical education (CTE) teachers, I entered my new career with a number of preconceived notions. I quickly found that I not only didn't have all the answers, I didn't even know the questions. As time passed, I found that like the process of becoming a carpenter, the teaching process was much the same. It takes years after the learning phase is complete to become fully competent in each profession.

  3. Jose Acosta | Dec 22, 2018
    I truly agree with all that I have read and we need to keep all informed of all the possibilities they can obtain through NCCER CERTIFICATION PROGRAM!!!
  4. Eric Fisher | Dec 20, 2018
    I have been in the CTE business for 30 years and I believe this to be one of the best written pieces that embraces the promotion and development of skilled trades in kids.  Proof of Mr. Arnholz's article can be seen at the National Building Museum in Washington DC.  One of the exhibits is a playroom is filled with over-sized Lego's, Tinkertoy's and Lincoln Logs.  The room is filled with children building structures of all shapes and interestingly the room is quiet.  You can see their concentration and their imagination at work. We need more of this.

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    About NCCER

    NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.