I have expressed my thought many times about the power of block play, and how it encourages Creative Thinking by the planning that it involves. As the children build together, they work on their communication skills, problem solving skills, early math concepts, and symbolic thinking skills as well. It is also great fun!
I have a group of children that gravitate to the block area most days, and each day their buildings, stories, and connections with one another grow. Below is an example of the children working and thinking together in their block play.
Building a Tooth Fairy House
The Scenario: G.G. and L.S. chose to do block play during morning meeting, several big blocks had been set up as a foundation and they were beginning to add small blocks. C.J. had dressed up in princess clothes and G.G looking at her expresses that he thinks she looks nice. C.J. informs him that she is the tooth fairy, from this starting point the children begin a long dialog as they build.
G.G: “This is going to be a tooth fairy house. It’s Halloween, we've got to build this fast!”
L.S: “Here is a big one (block), look I’m so strong.”
~G.G. lifts a big block, and L.S. says with encouragement, “That’s it G.G.”
G.G: With a nod of the head, “That’s it!” L.S. picks up another big block and G.G. exclaims, “L.S, look out for me!” L.S., carefully puts his block down.
C.F: “I have an idea; let’s fill the castle with seashells!” “Shells come from the ocean.”
C.F. goes up to the nature table and starts getting shells, but gets distracted by a feather on the table. “It’s either a bird feather or a turkey feather. I think it’s a bird feather.”
N.G.F joins her and proclaims, “It’s an owl feather.”
~The girls put the feather down and dessert the idea of seashells, but join the boys in building their block “tooth fairy” house.~
G.G. to N.G.F “look it is going to be a pretty house.”
C.F: “Look it (holding up a block) where can this go?”
L.S: “I don’t know.”
C.F: “Can it go here?”
L.S: “Yeah, that’s a good job!”
C.F. discovers a unique shaped block and exclaims: “These look like underwear!”
~Lots of laughing~
G.G. “Working Mans are working hard in underwear all day!”
C.F: “ Look an ‘L’ block.”
L.S: “No, no, I have to put that one over here.”
G.G: “Watch out guys, don’t knock down this beautiful house for these princesses. This is going to be a good day cause we are working for a house for the princesses.”
L.S. to G.G. “I’m tired, huh?”
G.G: “Yeah, tired. Don’t go no higher.”
N.G.F. and C.F. begin to hand the boys blocks.
N.G.F: “Here you go.”
L.S. “Thank you , no more blocks till I get these out of my hand.”
~N.G.F. continues to hand blocks.
L.S: “I only have two hands, no thank you.” L.S. puts blocks down and says, “OK more blocks!”
N.G.F: “These look like circles, it’s a wheel!”
C.F.: “They’re circles, they are Mickey Mouse ears!” N.G.F Holds them up to her head.
G.G: “Where’s the tooth fairy.” He goes over the fairies and shouts, “The house is done!”
L.S. runs over as well. “Come look at the tower we made, it’s so big!”
Tricia: “OK let’s go look!”
L.S.: “Just don’t knock it over.”
Tricia: “OK I won’t.” Looking at the tower Tricia asks L.S. “Can you tell me about it?”L.S: “Sorry can’t talk, too busy!”
G.G. to N.G.F. and C.F. : “We need those cones can you get them.”
C.F. “I can’t they are stuck!”
N.G.F: “Let me help you.”
G.G. “I can help too. Man they are stuck. Ah, we got it!”
C.F. and N.G.F jumping up and down both exclaim: “Yay we got it.”
The cones are placed on top of the house and proclaimed done.
A little later the tooth fairy comes and checks it out. She nods in approval.