Monday, September 5, 2016

A New Step in Blocks

A little while back I saw a photo on the Play Counts Facebook page. (There are always great photos on that page, by the way.) This particular photo showed a boy standing on a ladder, stacking plastic jars and containers. The quote on the picture mentioned risk management and ended with "sometimes ground level isn't high enough."

I immediately thought of my tower builder. He loves to build towers as tall as he can, reaching over his head often to balance blocks. I wondered if he needed something to stand on to extend his building.

This is a departure for me. I was taught that building should be no taller than your chin. I'm not sure where the "rule" actually originated but I think it was for safety reasons. As you can tell from some of my previous posts about blocks, I've been bending and flexing that particular rule for a while. And when I saw this photo, I knew I needed to go even further.

I talked with my wife - my co-teacher. I mentioned that I was considering taking a step stool to our room for the blocks. "Oh, ___ would love that," she immediately said. I knew we were on the same page.

I have a folding stool that has been among my "classroom" pile of stuff (from my elementary move a couple of years ago). I even knew (sort of) where it was. So one day I grabbed it and took it to class.

I showed it to my friend. I told him that it would be over by the wall and he could use it whenever he wanted to build tall structures. "What a GREAT idea!" he said. But the stool stayed over to the side.

Then - it made an appearance. But not as I had envisioned. (Isn't that always the way?)


A road had been build for our emergency vehicles. The stool became the obstacle that these racing vehicles jumped. Then, the tow truck fell into the hole on top of the stool. Rescue efforts commenced.


This play went on for a while. And then...something else happened.


A game of "balance on the step" broke out. A couple of boys took turns standing on the stool, on one foot. I gave a brief cautionary word (I couldn't help it) but let the play continue.

After a little while, they went on to other adventures.

The stool did not work out like I thought. But it's still in the room. Still waiting for tall structures. And much more useful than just hanging out in the garage.

Some day...in a future block activity...I'm going to place the stool front and center with the blocks. And see what happens.

I'm sure it won't be what I expect.

1 comment:

  1. I love it! Kids are so resourceful. I look forward to future photos of tall structures.

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