Saturday, July 10, 2010
Take Blocks Out of the Classroom!
Blocks have to be one of the best toys ever invented!
I am a firm believer that they have a strong place in every classroom up through the primary years and beyond. They come in many shapes, sizes, colors and textures. Sadly, they are being taken out of the early childhood classrooms. I advocate taking them out of the classroom as well.....but only so you can play with them outside!!
Using large blocks fosters teamwork and cooperation. Children negotiate placement of blocks and how to get their friends to join their "notion" so that their idea can become bigger using all of he blocks.
I will add that we do talk about de-construction or demolition. We talk to the children about safety when they are ready to knock down a building. The rule is hands only-no feet. First check that no one is inside the structure or behind it. This does take a few lessons-the urge to kick it down is always irresistible.
Lastly, a terrific class gift that my school received this year is another set of large wooden blocks. On this set, however, a parent had engraved each child's name as the child would have written it with a router. This class was a set of voracious builders-so they have a legacy now.