Fitting pieces together, gathering, building and breaking are all joy points for children playing blocks.
Putting as many non-interlocking blocks out as you can for free play releases young builder’s limitations and thrills them to no end. I have a few of many kinds of blocks that don’t snap together. Wood, foam, plastic, plain and painted blocks. In addition, I have buckets full of corks, paper plates, plastic cups and cardboard for construction. This activity lays everything out and invites children to an open play building jamboree. They combine materials and make creations that they might not get a chance to during more regulated or singular type block play.
1. As many block sets as you have.
2. Paper and plastic cups and plates.
3. Any other building material you can find
Click on the images below to see the items at Amazon. I have tried to pick links with the best value and price from Amazon but you might want to search a bit for the price and quantities that suit your needs.
How to present it to your group:
1. Put the blocks and materials on the floor or on tables.
2. Explain to children that they can build anything they want with any building material.
3. Strike a deal with them stating that at the end of play, they will put the blocks or materials back in the section they took them from. Also emphasize that all blocks are to be shared and that is why you might have to build your masterpiece out of several types of blocks.
4. Enjoy your time, referee disputes.
Block building can contribute to every level of child development. Each child will get something valuable out of playing with blocks depending on their own stage of development. Young children learn about shapes, colors and size while older children engage in problem solving and creativity of various levels. Every child in the group practices sharing and cooperation while playing blocks with others; even in parallel playing.
Most preschool classrooms and homes with preschoolers have many block sets. It is a pleasant experience for children to work on building at the same time as others. All developmental stages will be represented and many young children like to watch older children build. I use block play as a transition activity between projects or when we are waiting for our food to bake in the oven.