Here are some things I have always included in the block area in my classroom. Please suggest any other items that you have experience with that I can add to my blog. Thanks!
- Wooden blocks
- Cardboard boxes/Recyclable Material
- Foam boxes
- Brick-shaped/coloured boxes
- Road Carpet
- Hollow blocks
- Lego (Different sizes)
We see the block centres nearly in every classroom. But what is the point of having these materials?
- They allow children to use their fine motor muscles (small fingers to perfect the skill of balance, steadiness and grip/grasp as they play with small lego pieces and the blocks)
- They learn how to perfect their gross motor muscles (large muscles in arms, legs, and the rest of the body as they pick up the large blocks).
- They learn about hand-eye coordination. This is very important for them to learn because it requires for a lot of focus through their vision to complete a task using their hands.
- They learn about building and construction.
- They learn about structures; how balance and a solid foundation is key for buildings to stay standing.
- They learn about mapping (a big part in the school curriculum) through playing with the road carpet, transportation and the rules of traffic.
- They learn about the community (the road carpets have lots of important buildings on their such as hospitals, fire stations, police stations, schools, etc.)
- They learn to problem solve as they figure out ways to create their work. (Specially trying to make a bridge stand without any foundation underneath!)
- So much math is involved! Structures, problem solving, mass, weight, balance and spatial skills.
- Language is involved: creating their own stories with the blocks and being able to communicate it with their peers and teachers.
Children love this centre. Whenever possible, teachers and parents should get down on the floor and play with the children. It further helps to develop social skills, communication skills, math skills (challenge them with building things). This adds on to cooperative and pretend play.