Blocks - Poro Rakau

Blocks - Poro Rakau

17 October 2018

At Nurtured at Home, Educators provide a range of opportunities, spaces and materials for children of all ages to engage in exploring and building with blocks. The Ministry of Education notes that blocks are valuable manipulative and creative resources for children.

They help to develop maths, science, art, language and social skills. They also provide plenty of opportunities for developing persistence, problem solving and creating 3-dimensional structures.

Block play can help children to:

  • learn about gravity, stability, balance, weight, and trial and error
  • understand shape, size, space, depth, width and height
  • develop hand-eye coordination and muscles
  • learn to plan and ask questions
  • gain confidence in their own abilities
  • learn to cooperate and share with others.

Adults can support children by:

  • allowing them to explore at their own pace
  • supporting them to put their own ideas into practice
  • helping them sort out problems
  • listening and talking to them about what they are doing
  • encouraging them to help tidy up afterwards
  • making sure they are safe.

Providing for Blocks

Children need a lot of space when playing with blocks. Carpeting or low mats provide comfort but some children find it easier to build on an uncarpeted area. Using low shelving or boxes to store the blocks will allow children to reach the blocks they want.

Ideas for equipment:

  • home-made blocks made out of different sized boxes (stuffed with paper and taped down or covered with several layers of papier mâché for strength)
  • multiple unit blocks in full, half or quarter sets
  • sets of coloured blocks
  • items to use alongside blocks - such as toy cars, plastic people and animals
  • other equipment such as cones, cardboard and fabric.