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Block Town - Spatial Play

Magnetic blocks and light box
Our son, who is six, is lucky enough to be at a school and in a kindergarten class (with two outstanding teachers) where the importance of block play is fully appreciated.

Far more than mere entertainment or diversion, blocks are important tools for learning about spatial relationships (in our online world, too many of us think in two dimensions rather than three), collaboration with others, building design (Frank Lloyd Wright credited childhood block play with inspiring his love of architecture), problem solving - and even urban planning.

Our son's class has allowed the growth of "Block Town" - as the children themselves named it - over a period of two months.

It now covers almost the entire floor of one classroom, includes an airport runway, a hotel, office buildings, a police station and an aquarium...and has consumed every block available!

The children have also made extensive use of tape to bind blocks together into vehicles and to lay out "streets."  They have discussed services for Block Town, including how drainage and sewers and electrical lines might function - and one father intends helping install some scaled-down lighting for the project.

It is rare for a school to allow a project such as this to grow over such a long period of time - far too many classrooms are "tidied up" at the end of every day - and the sense of pride and ownership (in a non-capitalist sense) the whole class feels for Block Town is a rewarding experience in itself.

Hotel tower and aquarium, part of Block Town

Inside a building constructed of magnetic blocks
For more information about the school involved, please contact me at: tranquilbuddha@gmail.com

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