Two kids stand in the blocks center, looking at what is on the floor. Cube blocks, our lids, some checkers from an old game, and letters made from tape.
"You can build the letters, putting these things on the tape letters," I said. "Or you can use the materials in another way."
They began to cover the letter shapes, each working on their own letter with their choice of materials.
We've outlined letters before, but this was the first time for this group. They worked on it for quite a while.
After their work, they left to pursue other things, leaving some of the letters covered. A few minutes later another boy came to inspect the materials.
"You can cover the other letters," I said. "Or you can build something else." He began work.
This particular boy likes to work alone. The cube block formed the base of his building but the checkers came in handy, too.
After a while, he knocked down his building. Now it was time to sort the materials, putting them back into their various containers.
Through this activity, kids explored literacy concepts, math concepts, spatial concepts. And, since the word spelled the name of a person in our Bible story - we explored those concepts, too.
Play is so important for kids' development and learning. A classroom should allow kids to experiment, using materials in their own ways.