Crazy Quilts Suggestions for Use

To understand children's learning with open-ended materials, it is often useful to step back and observe their spontaneous play and problem solving. Children use blocks in a variety of ways:

  • To create designs - arrangements with no particular function.
  • To build functional structures - things that move, shelters, and enclosures.
  • To build representations of real objects - sailboats, animals, and people.
  • To rearrange patterns - recombining a given set of blocks into different arrangements.
  • To act out narratives - using the blocks to tell a story.
  • To encounter and solve problems

Children will almost always start building on their own and may often build for long periods of time with great concentration. We have included some suggestions for use to further stimulate their ideas. However, we encourage parents and teachers to let children take the lead.

+ Language Development
  • It looks to me as though you have made a special house for your turtle
  • Do you think the turtle will like the design of your house?
  • Do you think the animal could climb out? Where would it go?
+ Mathematical Thinking
  • I see you made a special pattern. -light green, dark green, light red, dark red, light blue, dark blue. What other patterns can you make?
  • How many different ways can you put the prisms back in the box?
  • If you stood all of the prisms on end to make a tower, how high do you think it would be?
+ Physical Knowledge
  • What happens when you hold up the clear prism in front of one of the color prisms and turn it slowly. What do you see?
  • Can you make a bridge with the prisms? Can you make one the is high enough for another prism to go under the bridge?
+ Aesthetic Ideas
  • Look at some traditional quilt patterns in books or in museum collections.
  • Let's take photographs of all your different designs and make them into a book.
+ Imaginative Play
  • This looks like my bed with my color quilt. My cat sleeps on my bed
  • This is a box and another box and another box and they all have jewels inside.
  • I made a cage for a lion but he likes it because of all the colors.

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