Thursday, June 25, 2015

Play in Kindergarten: We want our blocks back!!! (PLUS FREEBIES)

I have read a bunch of articles (like this one and this one) posted by wonderful kindergarten bloggers about the importance of bringing play back to kindergarten, and I want to say I whole-heartedly agree!

The funny thing about this whole controversy is I think everyone wants the same thing: kids who are independent problem solvers, persevering scholars, challenged and engaged learners, and kind human beings. Our jobs is to remind our lovely administrators and the powers-that-be that PLAY strengthens these characteristics, it doesn't diminish them.

So today, let's talk about blocks

Wooden blocks, Legos, pattern blocks...we have so many blocks in our classroom. How do blocks compliment rigor? do they not?!

  • Blocks help students learn spatial reasoning (Which block would be best to put in that spot? Why does it fit the best?) as well as hand-eye coordination.
  • Blocks bring out imaginative play where students tell their own stories using their block creations.
  • Blocks give students practice working together and sharing.
  • Blocks help students problem solve and figure out ways to make their creations bigger and better.
  • Blocks are fun! Students will be engaged and associate school with a place that they want to be.
Blocks also teach content. Here in Georgia we have scientific habits of mind as part of our science standards. Every one of these standards can be taught through the use of blocks:

And that's just science (and not even the content science)! How else can we use blocks in the classroom???

  • Building number sense (Show me 7 blocks. How many more do you need to get to 10?)
  • Composing simple shapes to form larger shapes (What happens if I put these two triangles together?)
  • Adding and subtracting (You have 4 blocks and I give you 3 more. How many do you have now?)
  • Not to mention the sorting and measuring already mentioned above!)

  • Building letters out of blocks (click {HERE} for printable lego letter cards)
  • Building a setting for a story (Where did this story take place? Let's build a model of it.)
  • Retelling a story or nursery rhyme (Let's build Humpty Dumpty's wall and reenact the story.)
  • Using vocabulary and oral language (Tell me about what you built.)
  • Writing about our block creations

SS/Science (content standard):
  • Building maps of towns and classrooms
  • Building places for community helpers to work
  • Showing gravity (Why does this block fall on the ground instead of floating to the ceiling? What will happen if we put this big block on top...why?)
  • Showing motion (What can I do so this car rolls faster down the block?)

Oh my goodness...I'm sure these ideas only scrape the iceberg of block ideas. With a little creativity, we can use blocks to teach almost anything! Here are some freebies from TPT to go in your block station.

Click {HERE}

Click {HERE}

Click {HERE}
Click {HERE}

I hope these help bring blocks back into your classroom!!
How do you use blocks in your class???


  1. We use our blocks every single day! They are not only great for so many academic things, but comforting for the kids in a way, too. Some of them sort of lose themselves when they are creating something with them. I love that! What a great post! :)

  2. I LOVE blocks! I have over a dozen kinds in addition to the golden standard of unit blocks. Thanks for gathering the freebies! See you around! Kathleen
    Kidpeople Classroom

  3. This is awesome! One time at PD the presenter said something like -- do you really want kids who don't have hands-on experience with 3Ds hapes trying to calculate surface area or volume. I truly believe they are creating their own background knowledge!
    Not very fancy in 1st