## Monday, May 14, 2012

### Early Learning Fun with Unit Blocks

We have a big tub of unit blocks (each is one centimeter square, weight one gram) which I've been using with the girls when we play with our bucket scale (see our Blocks in Socks activity).  This morning while I was trying to catch up on some work, I let L and E (33 months) do some exploration and play with these unit blocks.  Later, I joined them and made up lots of fun math, spatial vitalization, and fine motor skills activities.....

When the girls explored freely all on their own, they did a lot of transferring between containers by both pouring, and using spoons.  They pretended the blocks were food for their babies, and used them in other ways that I would have expected.  The thing that surprised me most was when I saw L push the blocks together to build rectangles and other shapes.  E soon followed her lead and they were both building all sorts of things with these blocks:

(I didn't capture any photos of their free play, but here is L adding blocks to my T for a new creation).  When I joined them I made some letters:

They've been a bit reluctant with reading/spelling lately, but they were extremely excited to work with the letters than I made for them.

We played a game where I put the blocks together to make rods, and I'd ask the girls which was longer.  Then they would make their own and quiz me.  Then they practiced making 'stairs':

This was still a big challenge for both of them - I'll have to bring this out again so they can practice.

I made some 'Tetris' shapes for them to put together into rectangles:

I think I had more fun with this one than the girls..

On a whim, I took out their dollhouse sandbox and started filling it with unit blocks.  I told them I wanted to find out how many blocks would fit inside.  Soon E took over the project and worked diligently filling up the box with (81) unit blocks.  Even when her sister tried to steal her attention to play with other things, she said "I'm busy" and kept working until the task was done:

The girls (and Mommy) spent most of the morning playing with these unit blocks.. lots of early learning fun!