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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Block Play

Unit Blocks Turn 100!
Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another.
-John Dewey
Community Playthings has observed that 2013 marks the unit block’s 100th birthday:

"In 1913, Caroline Pratt was a young teacher working in Manhattan. Having grown up on a farm, she understood about hands-on learning. But she realized that city children were deprived of much of the practical know-how that seemed natural to country kids. This concern, coupled with inspiration from the Froebel course she’d just completed, led Pratt to design the Unit Block. Its mathematical proportions and open-ended nature blend perfectly with Froebel’s philosophy.

"Because there is no 'correct' use of blocks, children have no fear of failure. Imagination guides their play, and each experiment encourages the next. While observing block play, adults can almost hear a child’s thoughts! Block play allows children to re present ideas in concrete ways — preparing their minds for more abstract forms of symbolism, such as written language. Block play supports knowledge and understanding of the world as children create miniature environments and experiment with concepts like design, symmetry, and balance. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright attributed his success to an early love of block play."