When Friedrich Froebel gave his cousin a set of wooden blocks for her two young sons as a present and asked her to observe how they played with them, he gave us two gifts in one – a practical resource designed for children’s learning and free play and an invitation to observe and reflect on...
Childhood is a time for, well, childhood! It’s not a preparation for school or adulthood. It’s a time for allowing children to go at their own pace, giving them the time they need to explore, manipulate, discover, and practise newly acquired skills.
A lot of emphasis is put on reading, writing and storytelling and maths, but actually, if you can’t be creative, how can you solve problems? That’s what the blocks help you to do – you turn a problem over, not only in your mind, but you also turn it over in your hands.
Babies love to play and some bought play resources can be very useful. However, many suitable play items do not need to be purchased.
As the COVID-19 pandemic impacts almost every area of our lives, many of us find ourselves in unique new positions. For example, unable to send our children to nursery, we must now occupy and teach them at home. How can young children’s waking hours be both happy and purposeful, despite the...
After six years of facilitating professional development sessions on the exploration of materials with teachers, I am more convinced than ever that blocks are one of the most essential materials for the early childhood classroom.
Children in the Liverpool area have been benefiting from an initiative to inspire learning through block play.
The first weekend in May 2016 found a small delegation from the UK in a little village in Germany, rediscovering Froebel in Keilhau, the great educator’s valley for education.
Research shows that early math skills may be a better indicator of later academic success than early reading skills. So how should teachers prepare young children for math education?
The most important thing in encouraging constructive play for young children is to understand the value of this kind of play, in and of itself, and not to view it as preparation for future academic success and development, or as a bridge to symbolic/fantasy play. Children should be encouraged and...