A Letter to Parents on Blocks

When children build with blocks in the classroom, we encourage them to talk about what they are doing. For example, we might say:
•    "Tell me about your building."
•    "How did you decide to put those blocks together?"


We also ask questions that help children extend their thinking about their block play. For example, we might say:
•    "You built a tall apartment house. How do the people get to their floor?"
•    "How many blocks do you think it will take to fill up that space?"
•    "Where do people park their cars when they come to visit the shopping center?"


These questions and comments are designed to help the children become aware of what they are doing and think of ways to extend their work.


What You Can Do at Home

Hardwood unit blocks are expensive, but there are several other types of blocks you might want to have at home to support your child's learning. For example, you might wish to purchase table blocks, colored wooden cube blocks, or cardboard brick blocks.

Small blocks can be stored in shoe boxes or plastic tubs and containers. You can put a picture label on the container so your child knows where the materials belong. Identify a place where you child can build and play with the blocks, either on the floor or a table. As your child builds with the blocks, you can talk about the structure and ask questions. Props such as clothespins, small plastic animals, and cars and trucks will extend your child's play and inspire new ideas. Playing with large or small blocks, you child can learn to:
•    judge distances, space, and size,
•    create scenes for dramatic play,
•    stack blocks carefully (using eye-hand coordination and small muscle control),
•    compare and sort by size and shape, and
•    use words to describe a construction.


Perhaps the most important contribution you can make to your child's learning through blocks is to take an interest in what you child does, both at home and at school. We welcome you to visit the classroom at any time so you can see for yourself how much you child is learning.

For more information on The Creative Curriculum for Early Childhood, please contact 
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