Tinte 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
  • Can you tell me about the design that you made that is hanging on the wall inside the frame?
  • I can see a small house and three people standing. Why are they standing outside the house? Are they waiting for someone? Do they live there?
+ Mathematical Thinking
  • I see you made a pattern: dark, light, dark, light. What would come next?
  • How many different ways can you fit the pieces inside the large frame?
  • How many pieces will fit around the outside of the frame?
  • What shapes can you make?
  • If you made a road with the blocks, how far across the room would it go?
+ Physical Knowledge
  • Can you make a tall tower using three connected blocks put on top of each other? Do you think this would be as strong as building with four connected blocks?
  • What is the sturdiest building you can make if you stand one block on top of the other?
+ Aesthetic Ideas
  • Do the colors appear to change when the light changes?
  • Let's look at some books on geometric paintings and sculpture. Can you find any artworks that look like yours? Did the artist use the same colors? How did the artist arrange the colors?
  • Why did you choose to put this dark red next to this light blue?
+ Imaginative Play
  • I made a really beautiful picture to hang on the wall. I can hang it two different ways.
  • This is a floor made of every color in the world. If I stand it up it can also be a wall.
  • My house has color only on the inside. If you walk around the outside you can only see the plain wood. It is kind of a surprise when you walk inside.

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