I LOVE BLOCKS.
I’ve seen the shyest children SHINE when explaining their work in the block area
I’ve seen architects, artists, builders, engineers, planners, actors, bosses, delegates, peacekeepers
I’ve seen communicators, mediators, observers, reflection, respect, responsibility, patience, active listening, constructive criticism, role play, decision making, compromise
I’ve seen sign makers, plans, revisions, rule makers
I’ve seen measuring, counting, balancing, experimentation with gravity and physics, measurement
I’ve seen children who speak different languages, come together to co-create
I’ve seen so-called ‘non-creative’ children be creative
I’ve seen imagination take over
and these are SOME of the many reasons I love the block area.
When I talk about block play, I don’t mean a space with just blocks. I am talking mainly about blocks put together with loose parts, animals, play people, signs, trees, etc. etc.
Here are the things I think about when setting aside a space for block play:
- is there a large enough space that the entire class can be in at the same time, and not feel squished? Can this area of the room allow for projects to be kept out without having to tidy up? (read about why I think a lot about the classroom environment)
- does our schedule allow for a long block of time (at least an hour) for uninterrupted play? (read about why I think time is not only important for block play, but all play).
- do I offer enough open-ended materials for children to be creative and imaginative? (read about why I love loose parts here)
- do I respect and value the work the children do through block play (and all play) as much as I do their writing or more formal academic work? (here’s what I do to value play)
Here’s some of our block play in action…
Things I think you should read…
Developmental Stages of Block Play (Fairy Dust Teaching)
Stages of Block Building
Ten Things Children Learn From Block Play
A Developmental Look at Rigorous a Block Play Program