Loose Parts: Construction (LP Master Checklist PDF)

This week I was reviewing The Art of Loose Parts Master Workshop and  had to share some of the amazing loose parts.   Most of these can be had for a very economical price or free! The best loose parts or repurposed materials.   Construction sites and companies, ReStore (Habitat for Humanity), junk stores, asking the families […]

Construction Provocations – Rosa Parks ECEC

Every time I visit Rosa Parks ECEC, I am taken aback by their creativity and dedication. Their rooms are beautifully adorned with child-made chandeliers, inspirational documentation,  earthy tones, and it is clean, very clean! It inspires me to come home and declutter my house every time! It is a win-win for all. On my last […]

Reggio Inspired: Ramps & Texture

Guest Teacher:  Kati Nash Reggio Inspired Blog Series For months friends had been exploring ramps and their relationship to the objects that travel down them. After exploring with different objects in our classroom from wooden spools to water, friends began making objects with clay to roll on the ramps. Friends started by making balls and […]

Reggio: Ramp Investigation

Guest Teacher: Kati Nash Reggio Blog Series  Hi! My  name is Kati and I am a teacher in a Reggio-inspired preschool that serves the most at-risk children in our school district. Our school is unique in that we have private, philanthropic funding but remain a public school. Our school works with many local foundations and […]

Storytelling in Blocks

Oh my word!  I was so excited to discover a lost thumb drive with photos from my classroom in 2007-2008.   I thought I had lost all of my photos when my first laptop crashed.   My daughter found a random thumb drive and . . . well . . . a treasure trove of photos! One […]

Block Habitat Constructions

Block play is so rich.  It can expand to include so many different kinds of constructions.  In my block center I have the following materials (in addition to the blocks): large river rocks moss covered “rocks” (floral department) green grass (floral department – holds flower stems) assorted silk flower and plant stems small logs large […]

Fabric in Blocks = Magic

I adore block play!  One of the most amazing things to provide block play is fabric!  Here is a student who made a “puppet” theater with the fabric and told a story — “The Three Giraffes and the Monkey.”  It was the story of the three bears retold with giraffes and a monkey. I also […]

A Narrative at Block Play

I love to watch little narratives unfold during centers.  One of the best places to “catch” such a narrative is in the block center.  Here is the saga I captured today:  Four boys are building a structure.  I ask what it is.  S replies, “It is a house.”  H chimes in and says, “It is […]

Block Play: Wrap it up!

My wonderful intern, Katie, created the best little activity during centers last week.  She pulled out the blocks, a couple rolls of wrapping paper, scissors and tape.  Bam!  A great center for fine motor skills!  How many of you are wrapping present challenged?  It takes something to wrap a present.  The children put their “pretend” […]

Building Plans

This week we are dwelling inside the story of the Three Pigs.  This week I will be posting some of my activities for this fairy tale.  First, this is such a perfect story to bring the vocabulary and work of architects.  I have a wonderful book called “Homes” that talks about architects and the planning […]

Beautiful Amazing Block Play

Today I was taken back, again, by the amazing learning opportunities in block play.  We are currently in the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  In blocks I put black and brown bear figures, green and blue cloth pieces.  A group of four children began building a “cave” for the bears.  They worked on […]

Ocean Block Play

This week the children reminded me of the incredible value of providing materials for block play.   With each change of theme – I like to put out new cloth and items related to our stories.  I put out blue fabric for water, green for earth and brown as well.  I had an assortment of […]

Developmental Stages of Block Play

Block play is such an important part of the early childhood classroom.  It provides potent opportunities for creativity, imagination, problem solving, and foundational mathematical understandings. It is something that actually has a developmental sequence to it – like writing or drawing.  I love to watch the expansion of block play in the kindergarten.  It becomes […]