Finding new ways to use those blocks by sorting them. Simple big and small sorting activities are a great change. Or take it further and sort by shape or color.
Stack them or put them into baskets. Strengthen learning while having fun.
Henry and I were having some great quality, quiet time together while George was taking an early nap.
We were playing with his Imaginets (affiliate link), matching patterns and shapes.
When he started to get bored with that, I mentioned doing some patterning or sorting with our blocks.
“We don’t do that kind of patterning at school…”
Okay… well, we can do things a little different at home.
We Started a Block Sorting Activity
While patterning would have been a great idea to do with blocks, I let Henry decide how he wanted to play with them.
The easiest way to start with your preschooler would be simple big and small sorting activities. Then watch to see how they want to sort next.
I got our wooden blocks out and first I sorted them a couple of ways: some by colors, and some by shapes.
Sorting Blocks by Big, Small and Shape Activity
Henry immediately decided he wanted to sort his blocks by shape.
As he started, he realized that some of our blocks are the same shape, but different sizes. So we talked about what makes them the same and what made them different.
Sorting by shape became a more detailed activity with big and small and some in-between.
I was sure when Henry started sorting that he would throw each shape into a pile.
Henry built as he sorted the blocks. Big walls, small towers.
There were some pretty big walls…
Walls of cubes, cylinders, and rectangles.
And piles of ‘big boards’ and ‘small boards’ (as Henry called them), those were the long skinny rectangles.
Henry also built a tunnel with the blocks that have the half circle cut out of them.
As well as rows of triangles.
He was sorting by size and made one row of big triangles and one of small ones in his activity.
Towards the end of the sorting activity, Henry told me that it was almost time for the semi to come and get a load.
He had 18 big loads of blocks to take (or so he told me).
He loaded them up and hauled them back to the block tub, putting them all away.
That’s my kind of cleanup after a fun, learning activity!
Sorting Blocks by Color Activity
When George woke, I thought I would try some color sorting with him (Henry joined in too).
I was confident sorting big and small would be way beyond him for an activity. But colors? Maybe.
But he just couldn’t grasp colors on his own. (Even though I knew he didn’t know them either I wanted to try.)
I set out a few different colored baskets (of the same colors as the blocks if I had them).
Henry lead the way for him. Placing each color block in the like colored basket.
I asked Henry to say the color out loud every time he put one in, so George could hear it and learn how he was sorting them.
George wasn’t ready for that yet.
But he had fun putting blocks in each of the baskets, without sorting them in any way. We had a fun time.
He ended up putting a shape sorter on one of the baskets and put the blocks through that.
Some excellent fine motor practice putting blocks through those small holes, even if he didn’t get the shapes right.
Most activities don’t exactly turn out like I plan. But the kids usually have a good time with it. And that’s all that really matters, right?
Henry had a great time sorting blocks by big and small, shapes and colors during his activity.
And George had a great time just using blocks in a different way that we usually would.
What’s a fun way that your kids play with blocks?
We’ve had fun with blocks a few ways: