I love blocks. If you've spent any time here on the blog (or even with me in person talking about preschoolers), you'll probably already know this. Since I love blocks and I've had groups of kids who love blocks, I'm always looking for ways to supplement or create different experiences with blocks and building.
This summer in Vacation Bible School, we had shiny blocks. Well, we wrapped some of our blocks with aluminum foil so we would have shiny blocks.
Just a little change...a small revamping of a familiar item...can create some new exploration and play experiences. Some girls in our VBS group really were interested in these blocks. They built castles (princess castles, I think) with these "new" blocks.
Since this was an unfamiliar group of children, I didn't know their block building habits. I don't know if the shiny blocks made building more interesting or attractive to these girls. But they did enjoy building with them and reused them on more than one day.
We were using the blocks (and the room) where my church kindergarten class regularly meets. We didn't unwrap the blocks after VBS so we still had some silver shiny blocks for my regular class. I told the kids that we could unwrap them, but they wanted to keep them for a while.
I noticed that sometimes the shiny blocks were just part of a building, with no particular function or special place. But more often, the shiny blocks became a feature or special part of a building. They were using them as part of an overall design. This really interested me.
Just wrapping a few blocks in foil caused the building and creating to change.
We kept the shiny blocks for a few weeks. Then we unwrapped them and had our "regular" blocks back. But because of my experiences with two groups of kids, I will be wrapping foil around them again some time. And maybe searching for other things to wrap around my blocks and spark some new creativity.