Sunday, May 5, 2013

Building with Blocks: 100 Days of Play!

I'm super excited to be joining in with bloggers from around the world to bring you one of the 100+ days of simple play co-hosted by Sun Scholars and Life at the Zoo!

You can read more about this blog hop and find a link to all of the current posts here, and don't forget to check back as we are only on day 35 today!:

100 Days of Play

Here, at Child Central Station, we have a HUGE selection of blocks for building. 

Please do not let lack of variety of blocks deter you from 
spending some quality time building with your children.
 You don't need all kinds of fancy blocks 
to make this activity fun and engaging with your little ones!

In fact, some of the best building materials are not necessarily traditional blocks!

Toilet paper tubes are great for building with. 
This photo features industrial sized ones, 
but you could use any size cardboard tubes. 

Cups (any size) work great to build with too!

So do pieces of cardboard. 

Children will even build with all kinds of random objects!

We've also entertained ourselves in restaurants 
by using the coffee creamers as building blocks!

Block building does not have to be complicated, 
nor do you have to have the perfect blocks.

Young children develop their block play along a continuum, 
so depending on the age of your child and their exposure to block play,
 the type of play you may engage in will look very different.

In the early stages of block play, children like to carry or transport blocks from one place to another. You will often see them filling containers and dumping the objects.  "dump and fill, dump and fill"

Then, you will often see them lining objects up.
 (I remember my son doing this with cars..... 
lines of cars and trucks from one end of the room all the way to the other)

The lining up of objects can then move to vertical building- 
which leads to
 "build it up and knock it down...."

Older children start to explore the use of bridges and tunnels, 

symmetry, and more representational building. 

Having big building materials like these giant hollow blocks 

provide opportunity for encouraging gross motor skills as well. 
Children love to have the freedom to build as tall as they can reach, and even taller!

Tips for building with your children-

1) Observe and follow their lead - 
wait for them to invite you into their play or ask "can I play too?"
Avoid taking over their play and direction.

2) Ask them "What do you need? How can I help?"

3) If your child has little experience playing with blocks, perhaps staging the scene by building a block structure for them to find (either finished or partially built) will encourage them to explore.

Don't forget- there are ooodles of other great play ideas being shared as part of the:
100 Days of Play Blog Hop
Sharing simple ideas on how to connect with your children through play!
New ideas shared each day from 4/1 - 7/20.  

Help us spread the word!
Grab a Button to Share on your Blog!

100 Days of Play is brought to you by these wonderful bloggers
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Faigie said...

That is one heck of a block corner. I remember when I taught kdg how I was dying for hollow blocks but my school couldn't afford them

Amy A @ Child Central Station said...

Thanks! Fortunately for us- we were able to acquire some of the large hollow blocks second hand! They are used nearly every day- worth every penny!

My friend died

 I learned a hell of a lot from Dan Hodgins.  He was mentor, a friend, and a "bone shaker" for many of us in the field of Early Ch...