Infant Program

march 2019

More than just ‘towers’:What the children are learning by stacking objects

The children continue to surprise and amaze us with how they are using the materials available to them in their learning environment. A couple of weeks ago we introduced a set of small hollow wooden blocks to offer a new challenge, as the children had already experienced our smaller alphabet blocks, Duplos, Mega Blocks and our transparent oversize light table blocks.

The children were quite excited with their discovery of these new blocks, and they were quick to explore them. The blocks were initially carried around the room and more than a few of them were lifted and then dropped onto the floor! This expanded into building towers and knocking them down with a big CRASH which resulted in some equally big reactions of laughter and squeals from the children!

Despite their initial hesitation, the educators waited to see what the children would do next.Were the hollow blocks introduced too soon?

Not long afterwards, the children began to demonstrate that they were MORE than ready to test out the new blocks. See photos...

Look at the amazing learning that’s happening; not only are the children stacking, but take a closer look at HOW they are being stacked. Many of the blocks are being stacked on their narrow edges, not the flat surface. That is not an easy skill; a lot of trial and error learning needed to happen before this was achieved. It demonstrates a sense of balance and symmetry as well, since the structure had stayed upright for a considerable amount of time!

This sense of balance and symmetry also extended to some of our other materials:

Imagine the patience and persistence that is required, and having just the right ‘touch’ to position the blocks just so. There is also a wonderful sense of collaboration, as the children are either using the same materials separately or are working TOGETHER to build. This is truly an exciting moment; not only for the children, but for us as educators by sharing this moment with the children!!!

Don McMahon RECE

Jessica Chikoski RECE