The Block Box!

Children love to build. As they begin, you will notice as they lay blocks on the ground, side by side. Our builders then progress to stacking blocks one on top of another and then proceed to knock the blocks down. This is developmental and they are learning cause and effect! They are toddlers at this stage and everything is new!

Once they have completed this stage of discovery, you will see them begin to build towers, followed by simple structures. Eventually, your active builders will move to more complex structures with roads and enclosures, such as four blocks creating a square to hold such things as plastic animals. This developmental step usually occurs around older 3’s to age 4.

The block box is necessary as it teaches problem-solving and is a good shared activity for introducing team building. It allows for imitation of the world with abstract objects and it allows for spatial awareness.

Suggested equipment:

Legos and Duplo blocks * Tinker Toys * Lincoln Logs * ABC Blocks * Tabletop Blocks * Floor blocks, colored and natural * Colored toothpicks with stryofoam sheets for building * Cereal boxes and juice boxes make great building tools too!

For children under two, I would suggest using soft blocks such as cardboard or foam. Always double check the block sizes offered to prevent choking.

Children need props. Jus setting out commuinty helper figures, play cars, trucks, fire engines, boats, trains, airplanes, or small plastic animals, extends the interest and allows for complexity to occurs as the children play.

One final tip for today:

Take a plain white shower curtain to create a well-defined playspace. With colored tape, you can mark off roads and make circles for ponds. Let your children be a part of the process by giving them markers to draw houses, tall buildings, trees, fish–whatever they wish to add to the scence. The curtain provides a non-verbal invitation to play and imitate how they see the world. If your curtain is thick enough, it can be used on either side, creating two play environments from one curtain!

Blocks have one final gift–they give children a place to learn about cleaning up. Be sure you have tubs or baskets that make it easy for them to get the blocks put away.

“I have a block that I pick up

Can you now pick up two?

I will grab three… if you agree

and now there’s less to do!”–(c) ck

Have a great day! See you tomorrow.

CK

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