4 Easy Additions to Enhance Your Block Play Environment
Blocks. They are often one of the favourite playthings in the early education and care environment - and for good reason. Blocks are open ended and allow children to test out ideas and create in a way that is only limited by their imagination... and by the environment and resources we provide them!
Which is why we need to be intentional about how we set up our spaces for block play, about the materials that we use and the way in which children can access them.
So, with that in mind - here are 4 super easy additions for your block space, complete with some inspiring images from the world of Instagram:
1. MULTI-LEVELS AND SURFACES FOR BUILDING
One of the best things I ever did in a preschool room, was add a wooden platform into the block space. At first, we wondered if the space would feel too small (simple solution - we moved some shelves and made it bigger) but almost instantly, we saw a shift in the way that the children were building. Providing boxes, crates, platforms and the like, of various heights and shapes, inspires children to build in different ways
Image via @hamden_way_nursery on Instagram
2. Add loose parts - large and small
Loose parts are perfect for block play. Pipes and tubes make great ramps and tunnels, rope can be strung between buildings, and smaller loose parts like buttons and gems (depending on your age group) can make the perfect decoration or addition to a building.
Image via @earlyyearsyork on Instagram
3. Add colour and light
As we shared in our book "Exploring Natural Connections with Light, Reflection and Shadow", colour, light and shadow can all make for interesting play and spark a sense of curiosity. Additions such as coloured, transparent blocks, coloured gem stones, fairy lights and sheer, coloured scarves, will appeal to many children.
Image via @mulberry_house_playschool on Instagram
4. Implements for drawing, writing and measuring
I love a clipboard in a block space. They can inspire children to plan their construction before starting to build, or to collaborate with a friend, or to sketch their building once complete, or to create signage for others to see. In addition, we need to have items to draw with and to measure. Measuring tapes and rulers are easy to add to the space.
Image via @infantclassroom on Instagram
We would love you to share in the comments, your favourite block play resources!
And - if you would love to share your early childhood Instagram account with us... pop that in the comments too!