Setting up the Block AreaLots of space!Clearly deﬁned borders of the “block area”Good Organization.Lots of Blocks!Variety of constructive materialsAge appropriate block types.
Setting Up Continued... Include props to further creativity. Props can include anything from toy ﬁgurines, to signs. Consider the location. Consider noise level, carpeting, trafﬁc levels.
The Teachers RoleRecognize the potential ofblocks as a teaching tool.Provide plenty of time forblock play.Encourage learning throughblock play.
Assessing Block PlaySingle best tool is a photograph.VideosAnecdotal observations
Stages of Block Play Stage 1 (2-3 years)Carrying blocksChildren learn aboutblock propertiesMuscle developmentand coordination
Stages of Block Play Stage 2 (3 years old)Piling and road making.First structures appear.Experimentation andproblem solving.Encourages cooperativeplay.
Stages of Block Play Stage 3 (3-4 years)Creating structures.Advanced construction.Bridges.Enclosures.Physics, Dramatic Play,coordination, Motor Skills,
Stages of Block Play Stage 4 (4-5+ years)Elaborate constructions.Creativity/ Artistic skills.Dramatic Play.Requires a large variety ofblocks and props.Building begin to resembleintentions.
ObservationObserve each individual child,recognize what stage they arein.Learn how they interact andmanipulate the blocks.Understand their interests.
Getting InvolvedOffer new materials.Encourage children to invite others.Ask questions.Make suggestions.Incorporate the different dimensions oflearning whenever possible.
Communicating With ChildrenAsk open-ended questions.Avoid “good job” type statements, insteadpoint out speciﬁc accomplishments.Point out design strengths and improvements.Focus on the process not just the results.Have them demonstrate how they’ve donethings.
EncouragementEncourage children to challenge themselves.Offer suggestions and your support.Provide inspiration.Add materials.Modeling. (Building alongside them)Don’t intimidate them with complexstructures.
How Do Blocks PromoteLearning & Development? Blocks cover many, if not all, areas of development. Including ﬁne gross motor skills... Cause and effect... Even muscular development!
MathematicsPromotes counting.MeasurementsGeometryAddition and Subtraction.PhysicsShapesOrder
ScienceGravityBalance and StabilityCause and effect
LiteracyUnit blocks with ABC’s on each block.Reading accessories (i.e. stop signs, etc.)“Creating” their creation
Physical developmentEngages large and small muscles.Hand-eye coordination.Controlled hand and ﬁnger movements.
Social & EmotionalBuilding relationships with the other childrenLearning how to build togetherCooperationRole playConﬁdence
What about the Parents?“When I’m playing in the block room, Pleasedon’t say I’m ‘Just Playing.‘ For, you see , I’mlearning as I play; about balance andshapes. Who knows, I may be an architectsomeday.”