Young children love playing with blocks, and this provides an excellent opportunity to teach preschoolers about a wide range of concepts. Large foam blocks are ideal for these young children as they are soft and lightweight. This construction makes the blocks easy for young children to manipulate and helps prevent injuries that might come with heavier wooden blocks. Here are just some of the many ways you can use foam building blocks to teach preschool students about important concepts.
Choose blocks that come in a variety of colors. A set with primaries hues can be great for your classroom, but a package that also includes other colors from the rainbow can provide even more learning opportunities. Set up activities where children separate the blocks by color for an introduction to identifying the different hues. As children become more adept at identifying each color, you can create more difficult challenges. For example, ask students to build a tower using two specific colors. They then have to choose the right blocks and create a building using just those two shades.
The blocks you bring into your classroom should come in a variety of shapes. Triangles, squares, and rectangles are ideal for preschoolers just becoming familiar with different shapes. Go over the name of each shape as children play and host impromptu quizzes on the shapes during playtime. You might also want to print the names of each shape and attach them to the foam blocks to add letter reinforcement to this educational playtime activity. As children become more advanced with shape identification, you can challenge them to get creative by building towers using just one shape. Your students can practice problem-solving skills by learning how to build structures with circular and triangular shapes.
Big And Small Differentiation
Another key concept for preschool-age children is to learn the meaning of big and small. Discuss this concept before incorporating the blocks into your lessons. You can then hold up one large block and one small block, challenging students to identify which one is big and which one is small. You can also extend this learning activity by asking students to place blocks in order from biggest to smallest or vice versa. Make this activity even more challenging by having them order only blocks of a certain color or shape.
Of course, not all playtime with blocks has to be in the form of a formal lesson. As children play, simply talk to them about the structures they are building, complimenting them on their use of a certain color or the way they add shapes to their towers and buildings. Even informal discussion during playtime with blocks can help reinforce these essential learning concepts. Don't be afraid to get creative with other concepts as well. Blocks can be used for counting and other math lessons for even more ways to learn in the preschool classroom. Contact a company that provides children's big building blocks for more information.