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Dec 10 2013

Why Play with Blocks?

Posted by: Maureen December 10, 2013

First day of kindergarten. A bundle of energy is hovering indecisively in the doorway. “Where are the Transformers?” he accuses.  “Don’t you even have a Batmobile?”  In an effort to convince him it’s worth his while to stay, I beckon him around to the shelves of unit blocks.  I stand back and watch his face.  He takes almost five minutes surveying his new domain and then he’s hooked.   

Next time I pass by, the outline of a life-size car is taking shape on the floor.  “Flaps,” he’s muttering. “Afterburners… grappling hook…” 

We may live in a technological age, when children’s minds are lulled to stagnation by continuous entertainment. But we don’t need to accept that model. We teachers can give children an escape route, not just from the triviality of what passes for entertainment, but also from academic pressure and tests which have only one right answer to be memorized, comprehension not required.

There are no standards written that cannot be supported through play,” writes Pamela Phelps, “especially scaffolded play with blocks.” Read the Article.