If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook it will not come as a shock that I am a huge fan of block building with children. As an educator block building was an essential part to my classroom curriculum and now as a mom it is part of our daily schedule. If you are new to building with unit blocks please explore my Introduction to Block Building with Children which focuses on the history of unit blocks, my experience training at the school where unit blocks were invented, the proper names for the blocks and how to incorporate unit blocks into your classroom or home setting. This post serves as a follow up to the Introduction to Block Building with Children and the beginning of a new series where I share my insights on unit blocks. Today we are exploring the Best Wooden Unit Block Building Accessories.
One of the easiest ways to engage new block builders or explore a unit of study through block building is by introducing accessories to the block building area. Today I am sharing some of my all-time favorite accessories.
THE BEST WOODEN UNIT BLOCK BUILDING ACCESSORIES
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Plain wooden people give children the freedom to create their own story lines. Unlike the people you often see that are painted to be police officers or a specific gender these wooden people have no details on them. Without any constraints I find children are more drawn to these during block explorations.
I always keep a bowl of mosiac gems in the block building area. It is always one of the first accessories kids explore. The colors are inviting and the size of the stones allows children to easily adorn their block buildings.
I love observing the different types of building that occurs when we introduce train tracks into the block area. Train tracks add an interesting element of fluid movement while the unit blocks enhance the train play by creating an ability to add height.
If you haven’t explored tree blocks yet you are missing out. I love the juxtaposition of the one of a kind natural tree blocks with the rigidity of the exact measurements of unit blocks. If you love DIY projects you can make your own tree blocks.
I stared at these tiles on other people’s blogs for a whole year before I took the plunge and purchased them for my kids. Oh why did I wait to long? We love the brand Picasso Tiles. They are less expensive than some of the other brands and work great! I love how my children use the tiles in the block area to create buildings.
BATTERY OPERATED TEA LIGHTS
I first saw these battery operated tea lights in my daughters’ classroom and was so excited! These lights give children the option to add “electricity” to their buildings, street lights to their roads, oh the possibilities! The lights are also perfect for making magnet tiles glow.
Pom poms are such an inviting accessory. My children love using cheerful colored pom poms to adorn their buildings.
Some of my favorite memories are of my children creating wooden block farms and zoos and marching the toy animals up and down in animal parades.
HOW TO STORE BLOCK BUILDING ACCESSORIES
I try to introduce 2-3 block building accessories at a time. I love the look of wooden bowls and trays in various sizes to display the accessories. Large wicker or bamboo baskets or plastic containers are perfect for larger items like train tracks and vehicles. Accessories we are not using get stored in large plastic ziplock bags.
Looking to learn more about unit blocks? Check out my post Introduction to Block Building with Children.