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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Promote preschool creativity through block play

Blocks promote creativity
A block center promotes a unique opportuntiy for preschoolers to be creative. Instead of creating with paint or paper, preschoolers use blocks to engage in the construction or creation of buildings, roads, farms, houses, towers, and walls. Blocks allow preschoolers to create in more than one dimension and the creativity is open-ended and hands-on.

A variety of blocks
Including a variety of blocks will help to promote creativity. Legos, wooden blocks, alphabet blocks, square blocks, rectangular blocks, blocks with unusual curves or shapes, blocks of different sizes, and blocks of all colors keep preschoolers engaged in block play and spark imagination.

Accessories expands creativity
Rotating block accessories such as cars, people, animals, trains, tracks, and tools captures the attention of preschoolers and expands thier imaginations and creativity.

Block accessories can be homemade
Creativity can be invited by adding items to the block center that are made by your students like painted shoe boxes for blocks or black strips of construction paper for roads.

Add nature
Creativity can also be promoted by simply adding items from nature like leaves, tree limbs, straw, and rocks.

Add pictures
Magazine pictures, old bluprints, posters, and photo cards of buildings and various scenes can be included in the block center to spark imagination.

Take blocks outdoors
Want to really see creativity and imaginations soar? Take blocks outside and let students have time to combine their imaginations with the natural outdoor environment and blocks.

View this blog article from Brick by Brick for a wonderful example of the potential children have when using blocks in the classroom!


Scott said...

Blocks are great. My boys and girls continually amaze me by their creativity and thinking when using blocks and assorted accessories. They have figured out how to make bridges, roofs, and precarious towers that somehow do not fall. Blocks are among my favorite teaching tools.

Deborah J. Stewart said...

Hi Scott,
Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I am not so gifted in building towers:) It really is amazing to just sit and observe preschoolers playing with blocks - the learning and creativity is far more than what may first meet the eye!


Ι used to love my lego as a child and have seen what a lot of language as well as thinking activity putting a scene together may generate.

As I work with EFL/ESL teachers and some of them teach preschoolers, I think this would be a great addition to the range of activities available - we also encourage arts and crafts work with a view to developing fine motor skills but tracing and colouring in are not the only things to do!

Thank you for suggesting the idea of a block centre with a variety of things, some of which can be made by the children themselves.

When they have finished with their creation, they can of course act out scenes, at the farm, on the road, giving directions how to get there, buying some fresh eggs...etc.

Deborah J. Stewart said...

Role play is definitely encouraged through block play and role play continues to build a child's imagination and creativity. Thank you for reminding us of that aspect of block play!

Marisa Constantinides said...

Hi Deborah, the previous comment got posted with my company blog - should be signed as Marisa Constantinides (Marisa_C on Twitter)

Deborah J. Stewart said...

Thanks for making the connection for me Marisa - I love how we have twitter to help us keep things straight too:)

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