Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Let's Take This Baby for a Spin"

A couple of weeks ago our blocks center has just our regular bin of wooden blocks and cars. Here's what my new group of kids...well boys...did with that.

Here's some of the conversation that I heard in the center:

"We can share this building. Your cars are here and my cars are here. But sometimes we borrow each others' cars."

"Let's take this baby for a spin."

"These two cars are just alike."

"We built our building and connected it to his building."

I love the blocks center. But I have friends that seem to hate it. It is noisy. It is messy. Sometimes it causes conflict. 

But blocks also encourage creativity and problem-solving. Those children who are conflicting can begin to find solutions themselves, with little or no adult intervention. They are learning math concepts and science concepts. They are working their muscles, not only when building but when crawling, standing, moving, and manipulating their bodies. 

Some of my friends (those who don't really like the blocks center) seem to think that it's a "no brainer" center - just make sure the blocks are out and the kids can build. But blocks can be so much more than that. We've added all kinds of things to that center - craft sticks, crayons and paper, cars, PVC pipes, tools, cardboard pieces - and creativity abounds. Sometimes I have more dramatic play in that center than in the home/dramatic play center! 

Take those blocks for a spin. Put them through their paces with some interesting accessories. Just don't ignore them.


  1. I totally agree with you 100% Scott ... NEVER underestimate block play ... never!! Your colleagues who only see it as the messy area need to get down and take those babies for a spin themselves ... seriously they do!
    Donna :) :)

  2. I am a huge fan of building blocks. So much creativity and engineering going on there, and that's not to be underestimated. Have you tried adding pulleys to the bin? Looks (and sounds) like they are having a great time!

  3. Oh, my block area is so sad - I need to amp it up with accessories. I had some, but over time they have gone away. Thanks for the ideas!