Block building is an integral part of our progressive curriculum at Creative Learning Center. We have a large selection of hardwood unit blocks, foam blocks, magnetic blocks, Lego blocks, and more in every classroom. There is plenty of space and time for the children to build and work together.
From the Learning and The Brain conferences at Harvard University, there is strong evidence that block building leads to brain development in all areas. Children who are given ample opportunities to build with blocks through seven years of age have been shown to have statistically stronger math and science skills in their high school years!
Block building contributes to every aspect of a child’s development:
• building self-esteem
• strong cognitive skills
• creative expression
At Creative Learning Center, children are encouraged to build with unit blocks every day. Constructive play permeates what children build since children often add dramatic and fantasy play ideas to their built structures. The buildings are further stimulated by the addition of books and dramatic play props (e.g. vehicles, animals, play people). Our students can be seen building bridges after reading The Three Billy Goats Gruff or making the Old North Church after learning about Paul Revere’s famous ride through Lexington. Regardless of what our children are building, the teachers facilitate their thinking by asking them questions such as, ‘How high do the walls need to be to protect the castle?” or “What can you do to keep your building from falling?” Critical thinking and problem solving skills are encouraged by these “What if?” questions.
blocks & math: As they explore building materials, children become meaningfully involved with mathematics. The blocks themselves are of many geometric shapes and are based on the unit. Working with the double unit, the children discover that two units are equal to the double. They discover that the unit can be divided into right triangles, squares or smaller rectangles. They will experience the symmetry often needed to make towers balance and discover patterns which make their buildings stable. Measurement is another naturally occurring extension of the block building activities. As they engage in the clean-up process, the children work in teams to sort and then stack the blocks by size and shape, thereby developing important classification skills.
blocks & science: Children learn about balance, gravity, and stability as they hypothesize and test their theories to find appropriate solutions to building challenges. They are encouraged to question, inquire, observe, clarify, investigate and reflect-all the steps of the scientific method.
blocks & language development: Language flourishes as children discuss their buildings and share their ideas with the class.
blocks, art & architecture: Children are also encouraged to make representational drawings of their buildings or to create labels for their buildings using “inventive” spelling. Builders and architects are invited into our classes to provide inspiration for our budding junior architects.