I wasn’t going to blog about this simple invitation to play with blocks idea I set up last week but the Little Tots have been playing with it so much and it’s created lots of extension activities that I decided to share. I was inspired to set this up after they kept raiding the box of recyclables in the play room and finding things to wrap them in to give each other as presents.
I set up this invitation to play using some different coloured wooden blocks in a basket with some strips of tinfoil and left it out for the Little Tots to discover. They immediately set about wrapping up the blocks and then unwrapping them without any instruction.
I didn’t think they would play with this for so long but they all loved wrapping them up, giving them to each other and then unwrapping them over and over again and saying “Happy Birthday!”. I lost count of how many times they did this and never seemed to tire of it.
This is a wonderful activity for working those little hand muscles and practicing fine motor skills and the Little Tots came up with the following extension activities:
- Colour sorting blocks onto pieces of foil
- Sorting blocks out by shape
- Building with the blocks and foil (using it as a roof, bridge, etc)
- Counting how many blocks there are
- Making patterns with the blocks
- Wrapping up other small objects found around the playroom
I aslo played a memory game with them by selecting a few blocks and then wrapping one of them up and getting them to guess the colour and shape of which one had been wrapped.
This activity is also small enough, if you remove some of the blocks, to pop into a zip lock bag for an on the go busy bag for those times you need them to sit quietly.
Early Years Outcomes
I was able to observe some wonderful EYO’s whilst the Little Tots (age 18 months – 3 1/2 years) have been playing with this invitation to play.
- Communication & Language: concentrating on an activity for short periods, single channelled attention, maintaining attention, selecting familar objects by name of from a group, understanding prepositions, using talk in pretend play.
- Physical Development: Passes toy from one hand to another, bringing two objects together and banging them, begining to balance blocks and build a small tower.
- Personal, Social & Emotional Development: Selecting and using resources with help, talking to other children when playing, growing sense of will and determination, plays alongside others, playing in a group and elaborating ideas, keeps play going by responding to what others say.
- Maths: Knows things exist even when out of sight, selecting a number of objects from a group, beginning to organise objections, saying some counting words randomly, using some number names accurately in play, knows numbers identify how many in a set, grouping objects by number, counts objects up to 10 and beyond, notices simple patterns, using language of size, shows an interest in shape, using positional language.
- Understanding the World: Watching toys being hidden and trying to find them, combining objects, exploring objects by linking together different approaches, small world play.
- Expressive Arts & Design: Beginning to describe the texture of things, manipulates materials to planned effects, constructs with purpose in mind, stacking blocks and making enclosures and creating spaces, using available resources to create props for play, chooses particular colours for a purpose, plays alongside others engaged in the same theme.
The Early Years Outcomes document is a non-statutory guide to support practitioners. It can be used by childminders, nurseries and others, such as Ofsted, throughout the early years as a guide to making best-fit judgements about whether a child is showing typical development for their age, may be at risk of delay or is ahead for their age.