Learning through play: blocks

Parents may ask their children at the end of the day, “What did you do at school today?” A child may respond, “I played with the blocks.” Blocks are an essential part of an early childhood program. In the preschool classroom, the block area offers many learning experiences for a child. Children learn literacy, math, science, and social study concepts while working with blocks.

When a child is exploring in the block area, the teacher can ask questions regarding the structure, which will enhance a child’s vocabulary. A teacher can post pictures of diverse building structures throughout the world to inspire children to build new creations. Children can use paper and pencils to create blueprints of their structures and be architects. They can buy and sell the materials they need to create a large parking structure for the cars housed in the block area. Young builders can learn about spatial awareness through the size and shape of the blocks being used. They can manipulate them to see that two triangles make a square, early geometric concepts. Children may use blocks to create ramps for their cars to travel down. As young architects are building and constructing, the teacher can pose the question, “What happens if you make one ramp higher?” Children can then experiment with forces in motion to see what happens to their cars when they change the height or length of their ramps. Much learning happens in the block area every day. Encourage children to explore with blocks and expand their minds.