Sunday, June 6, 2010

What about the block corner?

The school year is coming to a rapid end. I have not written a blog entry in days, surrounded by all the end-of-year "to do's". This year is particularly wild - my school is moving to a new location. We find ourselves surrounded by packing boxes and yet we are trying to keep the move "invisible" to the children - whew! (Perhaps I'll blog on that at another time!)

Let's see if I can share a photo essay with you!

The past few days, I have been pouring through photographs as I prepare individual photo albums for my children. This is my yearly gift to families, a ritual I always enjoy. It is always surprising and endearing to see how much the children have grown during the year - to see how their play has matured from parallel, alongside one another to full-blown, cooperative large group fun. It is obvious in the pictures.

This year, I am stunned by the metamorphosis of the block corner. I love my large blocks! I convinced my director to purchase a wonderful set of Community Playthings hollow blocks for my classroom several years back. There are so many wonderful attributes to the blocks. Children are instinctively so creative; I love watching the "no rules" open-ended building.

Large blocks are a great way for small children to "center themselves" by lifting larger, heavy things. Plus, this corner of the room becomes a very social place - the children must negotiate about what and how to build, they must use their imaginations together.

These photos just give a hint at the play...the children have made the block corner come alive, building castles, boats, animal homes, bridges, ramps, forts, and even dance floors. The play has been extended through use of so many different materials including other blocks, pillows, animals, scarves, dolls, legos, and balls.

Yes, the block corner is my favorite place!

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