Blocks are great for every child care classroom. They come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. Children in child care can use blocks to support dramatic play, to build structures for toy cars, or to sort, count, and organize. Blocks are also extremely versatile, and with proper care they can last for years, if not a lifetime. Below are suggestions for choosing blocks and adding blocks to your classroom.
Many different types of blocks are available for the early childhood classroom. Blocks can be large or small, wooden or plastic, colorful or plain. Blocks come in many sizes and shapes such as cylinders, cubes, cones, bridges, etc. You may prefer foam or cardboard blocks for infants and toddlers because they are lighter and easier to manipulate, which can prevent injury. For older children with more developed fine motor skills, there are building bricks, such as Lego, Duplo, and Mega Bloks. There are also blocks for every age child in between. For more information on different types of blocks, check out Different Types of Blocks for Your Child Care Classroom.
To see an example of what block play looks like in child care, check out the following eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care video:
You may also choose to provide certain toys in the block center. Choose toys that are made of wood, plastic, or heavy cardboard. Do not provide small pieces that young children can choke on. Child care providers should make sure that the blocks and toys have no sharp edges. Here are some toys that work well in the block center:
To find more information and ideas about block play, check out the following eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care articles:
For more information about how to use learning centers as part of the early childhood curriculum, you may also want to check out these articles: