why we should play with blocks

Through our STEM partnership with the Smithsonian, we have been following our children’s interests building structures. After our visit to the zoo, we started a focused exploration on enclosures, building exhibits for our pretend “zoo.” As we built, we developed important understandings of patterns, symbolic representation, numeracy and cooperation. (These objectives use Creative Curriculum’s GOLD.)

block stop signs | via provocations and play

E, R, D, I, and K wrote stop signs to protect their work over time, so that they could revisit their structures.

Objective 14a: Thinks symbolically Attempts to write words to label a picture

Objective 11a: Attends and engages Returns to construction… adding new features each time

Objective 3b: Solves social problems Says, “let’s make a sign [to protect our work].”

zoo exhibit | via provocations and play

After sorting animals into “scary” and “not scary” animals, and discussing why, Isaac made an elephant exhibit, and wrote “lfant” on a card to label it.

Objective 14a: Thinks symbolically Attempts to write words to label a picture

Objective 13: Uses classification skills Groups objects… and explains the reasons

Objective 11a: Attends and engages Returns to construction… adding new features each time

Objective 3b: Solves social problems Says, “let’s make a sign [to protect our work].”

citiblock towers | via provocations and play

K and R built complex structures, using an AB pattern and experimenting with stability. They compared the sizes of each other’s structures, and later, other children, like L and T used measuring tapes to measure their enclosures.

Objective 23: Demonstrates knowledge of patterns Extends and creates simple repeating patterns

Objective 22: Compares and measures

Objective 11a: Attends and engages Returns to construction… adding new features each time