As I was scrolling through photos of LEARN: Hands on Learning Plans for Your Preschooler, Louis caught eye of Henry doing this activity and exclaimed:
“Let’s do that activity, Mom!”
Of course. We went right to it. This is a great activity for kids to learn about spacial concepts, and also area. It’s fantastic in so many ways. But I just love it as a quick breather activity that keeps them busy, and gets them thinking.
As I mentioned, Henry did this in the past, you can see his version below. We’ve done it several times, we tried it with larger blocks for George awhile back. The larger blocks make it easier for younger kids, and a faster activity.
You can do this ‘fill in the shape’ activity with different shapes. But just for simplicity sake, a square or rectangle is easiest (for me to tape, and for them to fill).
I taped this square on the floor, using painter’s tape. I always, always recommend using painter’s tape, and please test it on your floor before taping all over it.
Its about a foot and a half square. Make it smaller or bigger, depending on the time you have and the number of blocks you have to fill it in.
Louis sat down and I started filling in the square with a few blocks to get him started. (Here’s an affiliate link to the blocks we have.)
He took it from there.
He liked to stack the blocks on top of each other, too. Which is totally fine. I did remind him a few times though that the point of the activity it to fill in the entire square, so we may need those blocks later.
George later joined us. He would have joined us earlier, but he had a sassing moment and said the activity we were going to do would probably be stupid anyway.
He missed out on the beginning then, and got to join us in the middle. He was then eager to play!
As he’s a little older, his method was much more thoughtful.
He chose blocks of all the same shape as size (until he ran out of those at least).
He also counted how many blocks it took to fill in one length of the square (18 1/2 in case you were wondering…).
They both continued on… filling their square with blocks.
It may have turned into a race to see who could fill their square first…
It may have turned into a fight as to show got the blocks… because we were running out of the little ones…
But all in all, they played very nicely, quietly, and cooperatively, with just the few hiccups.
Towards the end, they did run out of these kind of blocks.
George made the observation that all he’d need was the one big, big block and it would fill in the rest of his.
Well, it almost filled it in… it took a couple of those big blocks. (Here’s an affiliate link to the big blocks we have.)
Louis followed suit, and filled in the rest of his square with the big blocks too.
So they filled the square with blocks!
And shortly thereafter, they were wrecked and blocks were everywhere… oh well, pick up time while I get dinner on the table.
Henry filling in the shape with blocks
On a whim, we found a way to make our own puzzles!
On ‘one of those days’ I needed something to have Henry do to get out of his slump I started putting painters tape down on the floor… Not really sure what to do with it though.
I made squares.
Henry decided they were fields and ‘harvested’ these fields, then put up wooden cylindrical blocks for bins.
Getting those blocks out gave me an idea! We filled the squares with blocks, and made a homemade puzzle!
This totally got him out of his slump (except when George came over to move all the blocks).
Henry had to think about what he was doing. I loved this activity for that.
It wasn’t something he was used to.
Learning something new: problem solving.
Putting together a puzzle in his own way!
There was no right or wrong way to do it. Just to fill up the square, with no open holes.
Of course, once the squares were filled with blocks, Henry harvested them away, too.
I am feeling the need to link to other harvesting activities, where Henry breaks out the combine during his activity: