Block Party!

How to Help Children Get the Most from Block Play


The humble block has recently been the center of attention in the early childhood curriculum. What makes these simple units so valuable, and how can teachers support this often child-directed play? This workshop will survey the multiple learning opportunities available with blocks, how they connect to each other and other parts of the curriculum, and how to promote everything from basic skills including counting to higher thinking, social competence, and even emotional regulation.


The workshop will examine how different kinds of learners use blocks, and how to help “block builders” share their strengths and skills outside the block corner. It will also consider blocks as a balance to technology and other modes of exploration. Participants will learn:


  • the different developmental and educational potential of blocks;

  • how to set up and maintain an effective block building environment;

  • the teacher’s role in promoting effective and orderly play and learning in the block corner; and

  • how to make blocks appealing and useful to all kinds of learners.