Block play is a fantastic way to encourage higher-order thinking, and I am here to tell you why.
But first! I am going to ask you something right now.
Go around and gather every block you have floating around your home.
Blocks of any color.
Blocks in any size.
Blocks of any shape.
Stacking blocks and lacing beads also work for this block play. Add the blocks to a basket, and get ready to have some playful learning.
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Why is playing with blocks useful?
Blocks are open-ended materials that encourage children to be creative and explore three-dimensional materials to develop critical thinking.
Blocks inspire constructive play and problem-solving.
In this block play, we are supporting inquiry-based learning to prompt predicting, experimenting, and explaining.
Wait. What is inquiry-based learning?
Inquiry-based learning is active learning that is started by asking questions and requiring thinking skills to continue.
Children create questions on their own to complete a task or solve a problem.
Block play, and inquiry-based learning get children thinking that builds upon prior knowledge.
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The question behind this block play is simple!
How tall can you stack the blacks before they topple over?
Preschoolers now have to problem solve and make a prediction about how many blocks they will need before they begin the activity.
This thinking is critical for helping our preschoolers better understand how to extend thinking and make connections to what they have already learned.
RELATED: Want to use your blocks again? Use blocks for nonstandard measurement!
Setting the stage for block play is effortless.
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Tape white paper onto your table.
Gather a large basket of blocks. (see block options below)
Write, How Tall? onto the white paper.
Sit back. Sip your morning beverage. Watch your preschooler investigate how many blocks they can stack before they topple over.
Open-ended block supplies:
How do you begin to introduce this block play?
We used this preschool activity for a Breakfast Invitation.
Read the words, How Tall?.
Conversation starter: “How tall do you think you could stack these blocks?”
Watch your child make predictions and experiment with their thinking.
Block play will encourage young learners to explore ideas and make connections to prior knowledge.
It will also allow preschoolers to construct and build in a variety of ways.
Allow time, space, and open-ended materials to help this block play reach its fullest potential!