Friday, 27 February 2015

Outdoor Play Party - Hollow Blocks.


Over the past few years I have had lots of teachers or principals visit who are getting brand new nurseries & want some advice on how to best equip their space. We got a brand new school in 2006 & were given a very healthy budget to refurbish the nursery, so in a way we were luckier than those trying to equip a nursery from scratch - we had lots of the basics already & could afford to indulge in some of the more 'luxury' items e.g. a loft for indoors & lots of blocks from Community Playthings. 


The one piece of advice I give to any one who has a decent budget to set up a nursery or preschool class is to invest in a set of hollow blocks, ideally if you can afford it the original ones from Community Playthings but if not there are lots of other companies making them now too.
In 2006 we bought a class set of hollow blocks & the storage cart & they have been such an asset to the class - ours are used outdoors as we just don't have the space indoors for them. In the past 8 years of constant use from February to June, they have weathered well, 2 of the planks split but this was our own fault as we left them outside in the rain overnight a few times. But luckily you can buy replacement sets easily.

I love watching how each class uses them differently, some years they make tables & chairs & lots of houses are built. Other years they build them as high as possible & love climbing on top of them. Sometimes they are used as props in other play - as robot feet or TV's etc.
I love that the open endedness of these products allows the children to engage with them in any way they want. They also learn very quickly that they are sore if dropped on toes or fingers, slippy on wet days or if your shoes are wet & that if they fall on your head, it really, really hurts!
One member of staff usually sets them up in the morning to get the children playing with them but they are then free to move them about & create whatever they want to with them. 


My favourite post in the last Outdoor Play Party was from Wild Family Fun all about the fun Kim & her sister & their children had over half-term. It was lovely to see her young nephews enjoying such simple yet fun activities as den building & cooking marshmallows. Wonderful memories that I am sure her nephews will remember for a long time.

"Now it’s time for this week’s Outdoor Play Party. We would appreciate it if you included a link back to this post (either in your post or sidebar) to help us spread the word about the importance (and fun!) of outdoor play! In return, we’ll gladly further share your post on Pinterest. Please feel free to grab the Outdoor Play Party button from the sidebar and/or include a text link back. Please note that by contributing you are giving permission for an image and link to your post to be republished if featured.(If you have been featured, please feel free to grab the ‘featured at’ button from the sidebar.) Share your ideas for outdoor play activities with us every other week!"


7 comments:

  1. Hurrah, that’s what I was trying to get for, just what a stuff Presented at this blog!! Thanks admin of the site. http://ndstory.com

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  2. Interesting - I've never seen these blocks before. Looks like something the kids would have a lot of creative fun with.

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    1. Oh thta is interesting Linda, I thought they were everywhere!

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  3. Love the John Ruskin quote! I remember these style blocks from kindergarten (years ago!) -- the lightness and ease of gripping them makes them excellent for all hands.
    ~Lee
    http://pocketmousepublishing.com/

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    1. I love that quote too, my former principal came across it a few years ago & knew it was perfect for my class.

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  4. We have had trouble keeping our hollow blocks from deteriorating from exposure to the elements. Love to hear how other schools deal with this issue.

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    1. I have to say in the past years ours have held up week, we had to replace one of the long planks as it was left outside overnight in the rain & split. But they are stored inside in an outdoor store overnight & if it is very wet we don't put them out. I have also taught the children to be careful when placing them on the ground, not to throw them or they will splinter or crack. Hope this helps.

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