Ten Reasons to Love the Block Area
1. Blocks are social. Children often build in collaborative groups. The social skills learned include listening to others, accepting the ideas of others, compromise and occasionally, working out differences.
2. Blocks require problem solving. Children make their own problems to solve. They wonder how they can make their buildings taller, wider or what to build if they use all of the blocks.
3. Children practice their planning skills. This is especially true when they are collaborating with others. In order to work well together, they need to talk about their building before they even start.
4. Blocks are an active and creative way for children to express themselves.
5, Blocks are the beginning of learning about mapping. The three dimensional placement of buildings and roads on the smaller scale of blocks gives children a bird's eye view of the world that they created. This is a more concrete representation than a map and gives them the background to understand that this is the perspective from which maps are made.
6. The block area is a physics lab where children are continuously thinking about balance and motion.
7. Working with blocks helps in math. The spatial and non-standard measurement practice that children get in the block area provides prior experience when these concepts show up in math.
8. As children create houses, cities, zoos and farms in blocks, they are touching on the topic of communities, the foundation for social studies learning in kindergarten through fifth grade.
9. When blocks fall down, children learn that trying again can lead to something even better.
10. If children are given the materials to add signs to their buildings, then writing is added to the list of great things about blocks. This kind of writing has a new purpose and is different from the writing from the rest of the day. It is part of their play.