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Let's get learning with Eco Build a World

Ideas of how Alice Sharp's Eco Build a World can be used to support different areas of learning in the early years.

Posted on Sunday 12th March 2023

Eco Build a World

Eco Build a World is a set of various loose parts that can be connected together to provide a rich variety of play scenarios. This collection can be used as manipulatives, construction, role play, small world play and a plethora of STEAM activities. A versatile resource with numerous learning outcomes.

Here are some ideas of how Eco Build a World can support different areas of learning:

Loose parts play

Children can position the different parts to make many varied configurations. They can experiment, investigate, position and manoeuvre the components to make their desired project. First, they can imagine it and then build it. It is not a prescriptive set, with fixed outcomes. The children are able to make their own decisions and choices.  The nature of this type of play gives children opportunities to amend, adjust and alter as they go. Their ideas may be quite simple. It may be a tower or it may be a grand scheme relating to building a whole town.

Eco Build a World Loose parts

Learning through STEAM

Eco Build a World can encourage children to use a range of skills and offers them opportunities to:

  • Experiment, hypothesise, predict and test out their ideas.
  • Manipulate materials and solve problems.
  • Engineer the pieces to meet their own specifications.
  • Use their creativity to design, build and decorate the structures and sculptures they create.
  • Work with different weights, sizes, shapes and lengths.
  • Match, sort, compare, estimate, count and measure.


It is important to offer children a diverse collection of materials so that they can choose for themselves which best suits their project. By incorporating these cylinders and platforms into a wider construction range the children will have a host of possibilities. Equally there is so much that can be created just with the sets alone. Children may choose to construct along the floor, go up and across, long and low, up and up or wherever they choose to take the design.

Eco Build a World Construction

Schematic beaviours

This set has a wide variety of possibilities for supporting children’s schematic behaviours and helping them make vital connections. Here are a few examples:


  • Line up and position the pieces in a variety of ways.
  • Join, connect and balance the different elements.


  • Roll the bamboo tubes across different surfaces to watch them rotate.
  • Explore how they can twist and turn.


  • Build and balance the pieces.
  • Slot together and manipulate the parts.


  • Change and alter creations.
  • Take pieces of the kit and make it into something new.

Small World Play

Encourage children to dream of faraway lands and then create them, using the core structures before enriching it with other accessories. They can be creative, experimental, explorative and dramatic. Provides opportunities for children to work collaboratively or independently.

Small world