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Child Study Center

Center of Excellence for Early Childhood Learning & Development

Building Blocks

completed block structure

Background Information:

The Ladybug class has been creating with many different sizes of blocks. The children have become scientific investigators while building structures that occupy a certain space or structures in which they or items from the classroom can occupy. While working together the children ask each other questions, listen to the responses of friends, observe how best to fit blocks together, decide which block will be the best one to use for a specific space, and make decisions, with their friends, about what size to make the structure. Children gain knowledge about the world around them from experimenting.

early phase block structure

When the children experiment with building sometimes the structure falls down. Then the questions become:
How do we design our structure so it doesn’t fall down?

sturdier block structure

  • Which blocks need to go on the bottom to make the foundation stronger?
  • Can we figure out how to use larger blocks on top so they don’t fall down?
  • How many blocks can we use and how tall can we build the structure before it falls down?
  • How are we going to use the structure?
  • Which blocks should be used?

The pictures that follow are some of the structures that the Ladybugs have built during that last few months.

finished block structure

completed block structure
completed block structure

completed block structure


Teacher’s thoughts

The children have been using blocks, of many different kinds, for the entire year they have been in the preschool. The focus of the explorations has changed. It is now become about the building and how to make it strong and stable. They are exploring the science of building with blocks. The structures they work on, during center time, can change many times in order to help with the exploration of strong and stable, as well as symmetrical and spatial. If it falls down, it is rebuilt. If it isn’t big enough to go in, the children recreate what they are building for it to be big enough for all who are playing in that area. They may use certain building materials to make the structure safer to go in or more blocks to make it larger. Other building materials are added to as decorations.

completed block structure

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