Young children enjoy playing with blocks for a variety of reasons. And while they play, did you know they are actually exploring a variety of different content areas.
Most of you are probably aware that block play delves into the concepts of math right away, geometry-shapes-sizes etc. However, math is not the only content areas being explored. Block play gives way to literacy development and art as well. This child came up with a story involving three animal friends and the artistic aspect comes in the architectural design.
To expand on the literacy aspect of this child’s block play I watched, listened and asked questions when I thought I could gleam more from this learning experience. “Tell me why there are three friends inside the building?” and “What happened do the dog?” I did not asked these questions one right after another, I waited until I thought this child would be willing or able to share the idea. Now granted these are very simple and basic questions, yet the answer I got was very detailed and went on for a while. 🙂
During this process I watched the child rearrange blocks to see which ones balanced properly and which ones caused a total collapse. Many times I wanted to jump in and rescue the construction, yet I held back and allowed this child to figure out what pieces worked best where, and relaxed knowing that understanding was being constructed.
In the end we walked away from this construction with satisfaction. First the child was satisfied with the whole process and the fact that no one else was interested in blocks for a while, so the construction could maintain its stability for a time, and second I walked away happy to have been witness to this wonderful learning experience! Never underestimate the knowledge and creativity of a three year old child. 🙂
Please comment on your own experiences with children, blocks and learning. I would love to read and learn from you too! Check out my other Google + Page titled Google + The Marigold School of Early Learning for more posts.
Have a happy spring day!