Sprouts: We Love to Build!

Sprouts: We Love to Build!

January 25th, 2019

Hello Sprouts Families!

The building continues! Every day is a slight change, a brand new idea! How has their play transformed this week? Like we have mentioned, many of their creations were built vertically, their main goal: make as tall as possible! This then turned into creating a scene around the tall structure, elements of height still present.  All of this play centered in the block area.  This week we were excited to see that the building continued in other areas of the classroom.  We began to notice friends using our loose parts in the pretend area to build castles, cars, and animals.  The vertical building was still very much prominent in the block area, as we observed our Sprouts working with weight and balance.  Exploring the various placement of differently sized blocks for the foundation of their structure.  We also began to notice a shift from vertical to horizontal building.  Long bridges and rocket ships began to be formed. We noticed how some of these creations had elements of symmetry using color, shape, and number.

“We are building! Look it Cameron, castle!” -Shiho, playing with two other Sprouts in our pretend area.

Shiho’s castle: Various sized and shaped blocks placed in two columns leading up to a single one. 

Another Sprouts creation, using a small block as its foundation.  Exploring balancing weight and stability.  

Smayana creating a bridge with carpet strips, string, and blocks.  Friends were soon intrigued and building became a group effort. 

Our three Sprouts building horizontally adding on to Smayana’s bridge and now tower.  They began by laying down a flat foundation from one table end to another, then began to add on top.  Notice the use of other loose material used to add detail to their creation. 

Horizontal building:  “My house. Daddy lives here” – Hunter, 

Building a rocket ship!  Logan opted to build flat on the floor to create a long rocket using all the colored blocks.

So why do we continue to pay so much attention to building? What is so important about blocks and stacking?  Building is far more than just another activity.  Their is so much value to constructive play that help our Sprouts work on many life long skills.  As we observe a few stacked blocks become elaborate creations, we are observing a development in their fine motor skills.  As we observe a friend working on making the structure stable and not fall, arranging and re-arranging until they succeed, we are observing our friends working on their problem solving skills.  They are learning to be flexible, not give up, and come up with solutions all on their own, making their vision a reality!  Our Sprouts are expanding their imagination, expressing their creativity.  Constructive play can teach them focus and patience as they build from start to finish.  It has encouraged cooperative play, that has brought our friends together for a common goal.   It is amazing seeing the teamwork that goes on in our classroom, as our Sprouts work with one another, passing along blocks, discussing placement of blocks, and talking to one another about what their creation should be.  As well as the many math skills that we’ve observed our Sprouts working on while building: balance, weight, symmetry, gravity.

“I made an animal, a giraffe!” – Amelia, notice the symmetry in her creation.  From color to placement. If you look carefully, you can see how the middle blue blocks angles are facing each other. 

Equal amount on each side! Logan focused on adding one block to each side.

We asked ourselves: how can we further support this idea of building?  In what other ways can we build?  We brought in flat cardboard squares along with glue and other loose material for our friends to create their very own structure that they can take home.  The first day, our Sprouts discovered that it was a bit difficult to build up as the glue did not immediately hold the piece of cardboard vertically.  Our Sprouts discovered that the tilting cardboard pieces could become tents, but were immediately more drawn to small boxes that they found very similar to blocks.  With these small boxes the group of Sprouts began building by stacking, some of their creation being castles and bridges.  To continue with the idea of building with flat material, we spoke with Ms. Amy about our ideas and decided on introducing a hot glue gun.  After a risk assessment, our Sprouts were very excited and very careful and diligent as they used the hot glue gun to create.  They soon discovered keeping a vertical cardboard piece was a lot easier as the glue dried quicker.  Take a look at their creations that are hanging.  Take a moment to ask your Sprout to tell you about what he or she created!

Thinking about how we can build up.  Notice the small tent Megan created. 

“A castle” – Shiho, using the small boxes to build tall. Pressing down so the box does not slide down with the glue. 

“I’m making a bridge” – Smayana, assembling the foundation for her bridge.  We noticed that the Sprouts’ creations were ideas that had previously been represented with the classroom blocks. 

Introducing the Sprouts to a hot glue gun. From houses to Darth Vader, our Sprouts explored a new adhesive that allowed for creating both vertically and horizontally.

Achieving height with the cardboard pieces!

We look forward to continue creating and helping our Sprouts express their creativity and imagination!

Have a wonderful weekend!

-Ms. Linda & Ms. Cynthia