Operation Playtime: Blocks
There is a 12 day carnival going on over at Play-Activities.com called Operation Playtime. It’s the author’s effort to promote activities “that are open ended, developmentally appropriate, spontaneous, creative, not necessarily craft based, doing it for the sake of it and not for a specific product, using exploratory play, encouraging no-battery play, and finding and using interesting items we have at home.”
We’re encouraged to find a balance between plugged play and unplugged play, independent time and together time. Each day for the next 12 days an activity will be posted, and families are encouraged to try that activity on that day and then blog about it. Today was BLOCKS.
My kids love blocks, but I’ll admit that they aren’t played with as often as they could be. Because of JediBoy’s dust allergy, we keep six big plastic bins – with lids – under the bed. Two are for his Quadrilla sets (wooden marble run building blocks – fun!), one is for his big wooden castle pieces, one is Lincoln Logs, one is alphabet blocks, and one is regular building blocks. JediBoy can pull them out himself but they’re a little too heavy for BabyGirl.
So today, after the inauguration festivities, we pulled out the bin of regular wooden blocks. We had a great time – as suggested on the site, I facilitated and asked questions, played right along with them but did not direct their play in any way.
JediBoy decided to make his own block version of the White House, complete with perimeter fence. He was very involved in creating a symmetrical design, making doors and gates, and adding landscaping.
BabyGirl made several towers on the floor, but her favorite was building towers in my hand. I have some pictures of this that I took with my left hand, camera balanced on my knee…
She was so pleased with herself at building these tall green towers on my hand. She even enjoyed herself when they came crashing down.
Even though the blocks that fell landed in the bin with all the others, she picked out the same blocks time after time to rebuild the tower. You can see how much fun she was having.
Blocks are a great activity – both of my kids, who are 6 1/2 and just over 2, enjoy them in their own way, and there’s some great parallel play and imitation going on too. When it was almost time to clean up for karate, they started building towers together and then BLOWING them over.