I have so many lovely memories of the children at the nurseries I’ve worked in playing and building with blocks.
One that always sticks out in my mind; was not only a great example of block play but also a fantastic example of the magic of children learning through their play!
A group of children were having loads of fun pouring water through a water wall we had made for them.
Some of them noticed that the water was spreading quite far across the garden. They decided that they had to stop it from spreading “as it might get the babies wet”!
They had a chat about how they could stop the water when one of them noticed the box of blocks. “We could use them” she said, they then basically made a dam! Without any intervention… The blocks spread across about 4 ft of garden.
Once they had stopped the water from spreading, they poured more water through the water wall to make sure it worked “even if rain fell”!
Ah the simple block, coming in a variety of sizes and whether wood or plastic they are awesome.
Block play, or construction as you can see from the example above can lead to so many learning opportunities.
Children will develop their listening and attention skills; they will be focused on building whatever they intend to do and if working in a group, they will listen to other children’s ideas and respond to them with their own contributions.
They will also be playing imaginatively and this will lead them to building with a purpose in mind.
Another block play memory that always sticks out is when one of the Pre-schoolers wanted to build a Post Office. He chose the wooden blocks to use and about half an hour later I popped back to see how he was doing.
He’d created a structure that was about 2 ft high. It looked to the unimaginative eye like a pile of blocks! I asked him where I put the post, and he launched in to telling me how I’d take a parcel (a small wooden block) and put it in a hole he’d made.
I did as he asked and astonishingly the block passed through his structure and popped out the other side in to a square area that was “where they sort stuff”. He’d managed to build the structure so there was a chute for the parcels!!!!
Blocks should never be underrated! They really do inspire children to not only build but be creative and to think, plan and work towards a goal.
You can also use them in painting activities.. to explore shape and patterns but that I think is a lovely topic for another blog!!
Have a lovely Sunday!