Why is block play important?

Do you ever wonder what on earth the children have learned when you are told they have had a lovely day painting and playing with the large bricks?

A couple of parents had some questions to ask this week about such things and I thought it may be of interest to some of you to understand the way we work and why.

So this week I am going to talk to you about how important large block play is in helping early writing skills!

In order for a child to be physically ready to sit and write they need to learn about where their bodies are in space.  This is one of our seven senses and is called proprioception. (The other senses are taste, touch, smell, sight, hearing and vestibular or balance).

The children always have lots of opportunities to climb, run and balance.  The staff make sure they learn about what’s safe and risky and as the children get older they are encouraged to make these judgements themselves, especially when playing on our lovely hollow blocks.

Earlier today I watched a three year old set up a see saw with the hollow blocks and a long plank of wood.  He lay in the middle on his tummy and felt the movements up and down by carefully adjusting his weight and allowing the plank to go up and down.  Next, he moved the plank to balance between the two blocks, like a bridge, and he then commando crawled across forwards and backwards.  This moving/crawling action is also important to have cross-brain synapses wired up ready for later writing skills.

The little boy spent over 15 minutes experimenting, feeling his body in space, balancing and trying the feeling of different designs of balancing structure.

Practitioners at Munchkins understand how important this gross motor play is to later being able to master small motor movements such as writing.

I hope you have found this of interest.  Should you have more questions we are always eager to share our knowledge with you, so please ask!


Next time – Early Mathematics All the Time.


Mary Richards, Manager