Preschoolers can create intricate buildings and engage in pretend play in the building, blocks, and loose parts preschool center. They often work together to plan and construct as they create new games to play. The way you set up your building, blocks, and loose parts preschool center should give your preschoolers plenty of space to create together.
KEEP IT ORGANIZED
As with any part of your preschool classroom, it is important to keep the building, blocks, and loose parts preschool center organized. Everything should be labeled and have its own place. Although there should be a variety of items available for the children to work with, it also should not be cluttered. Everything should be at the children’s eye level and clearly visible.
HAVE A VARIETY OF BLOCKS
It would be easy to just have a big set of wooden blocks in your building center, but you can add so much depth to your preschoolers’ play by adding a little variety. Your preschoolers can learn about symmetry as they play with mirror blocks. Explore light and color while playing with rainbow blocks. The learning experiences that your preschoolers will have in the building center are greater when you add variety. Here are some different types of blocks that you can include:
- Tree blocks
- Rainbow blocks
- Mirror blocks
- Hollow blocks
- Cork blocks
INCLUDE LOOSE PARTS
Loose parts are open ended materials that have no predetermined use. They can be used anywhere in the classroom, but often live in the building center. With loose parts the children have the freedom to use their imaginations to create anything they want. A rock could be used as a car or an animal. Pine cones could be used as trees or people. There are endless ways for children to incorporate loose parts into their play.
Nearly anything can be used as loose parts, although oftentimes they are natural materials. If you do not already have loose parts incorporated into your preschool building center, you could make gathering some for the classroom a class project. Here is a short list of possible loose parts you could use in your classroom:
- Pine cones
- Fabric scraps
- Recycled materials
PROVIDE WRITING MATERIALS
When coming up with building plans your preschoolers just might want to draw out their plans before building. They could always make a sketch after they are done building, too. Provide pencils, erasers, and a couple types of paper for them to work with. Rulers are also a nice tool to include.
Visuals in the building center can be very inspiring to little minds. Include posters on the wall of real buildings from around the world and you will soon see your preschoolers recreating them. “I can build…” cards are also a great addition that can give your preschoolers ideas of what to build. Don’t forget to have plenty of books available with images of great structures, too.
Setting up your building, blocks, and loose parts preschool center should be fun. Once you have all of the materials gathered you can use some to stage a scene from a familiar story. You can even get your preschoolers involved by having them help gather loose parts to include in the building center.