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Monday, April 8, 2013

Block Play

Blocks?! But Miss Trayers, don't you usually try to post ways to challenge kids? This is not challenging? Au contraire mon frere (4 years of French and I probably spelled that wrong :). We tell kids to be creative in their writing and other assignments but do we teach them how to be creative, give them opportunities to practice that creativity? 
I had an administrator come into my class one day during math workstations and frown when she got to a block station in her walkthrough. She asked the kids what they were learning there and I was so happy when they answered "we're learning to create". I could see the gears in her mind churning with thoughts of how creating was not on the standardized test....but she didn't say anything to me.

I am a firm believer in blocks! I think it nurtures creativity and spatial reasoning and let's face it, they are just plain fun! It is always a station in my math rotation and usually a favorite of the kids.



This is an example of what kids will naturally do...build! Of course this station is supposed to be for making sentences and I did redirect them with those instructions but I had to snap a pic first-- look at the creativity that's apparent here.



Nature blocks-2 different ideas of what to build.


animal blocks-they love making up new animals-half giraffe/half alligator.We write stories about them too so I can tie it to an actual objective :).


3-D magnetic blocks


First day with our panda blocks.



Sometimes I give them some inspiration.


Sometimes they inspire me with what they are capable of.




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9 comments :

  1. I LOVE block play and am so fortunate to have administrators that support it. Loved this post!
    Bobbie
    The Daily Cupcake…A Kindergarten Blog

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I wish more people understood early childhood! Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

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  2. Miss Trayers, I couldn't agree more with you! I think building accomplishes SO much: problem solving, creativity, visual/spatial skills. How are our children going to grow up to be engineers and scientific thinkers if administrators only worry about tests? I actually purchased a Lego table for my room this year. It's my kinders' favorite center!

    I also wanted to let you know that I just put up some new spring freebies on my blog, if you'd like to stop by.

    Sincerely,

    Sharon Dudley, NBCT
    Teaching with Sight

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much! I will definitely check out your blog.

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  3. Fantastic. I went to a Block Play conference when I was in college and walked away thinking everyone (grownups included) should play with blocks each day.

    Kimberley
    First in Maine

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    Replies
    1. How cool a Block Play conference must have been! I love to sit down with the kids and build too-definitely fun for everyone! :)

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  4. I love this....and since we are working on geometry it would be absolutely relevant to play with blocks this week:-)

    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

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  5. I change my block area over to a construction area for about a month and half in winter and take everything that usually is in it out and then replace it with all found materials - oatmeal cans, pringle cans, assortments of plastic containers and lids, pieces of cardboard and heavy tubes, cardboard cones from rug yarn, film cannisters, aluminum pie plates, plastic cups and bowls and our favorite, the hard to find now....green plastic strawberry baskets. The kids love these materials and they use them in such creative ways, working independently and or in small groups. They make towers and skyscrapers, cities and pyramids(with those berry baskets). Some times their structures get so tall they have to stand on chairs to get to the next level of their buildings. I have done this for over 20 years and so I have saved these materials and store them until the following year. If they get damaged we just collect more. It is one of my favorite activities I do with my kiddos. We of course tie this into math and literacy activities as we measure, design, plan out, write about and draw what we make. I am a big believer in the concept of using blocks in creative and academic ways. Thanks so much for sharing your post about this fun and challenging activity for children of all ages.

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  6. I remember block play when I was in school all those years ago. I'd always loved the idea of a softplay area though. If they're properly constructed obviously, but that's a bigger scale.

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