Okay, so these pics might look like a blatant attempt to brag about my new carpet… (Seriously, how good does my new carpet look? And the walls I painted. How good do the new walls look?)…but truly they’re not. Pleased as punch as I am with my newly transformed loungeroom, I’m actually showing you the blocks, or should I say, the block playscape Princess G built this morning before going to kindy. I just love the way a basket of wood is the most engaging play material – pretty much a basic essential for any house-with-kids.
I do admit to helping with the jars of sand to hold up the stick trees – we were heading for a serious melt-down last night because, as great as they are, blocks don’t hold up stick trees. Aside from that, this is all the kids’ own work - The Bear joined in to sticky tape the leaves onto the stick trees.
I’ve lost count of how many times over the years, aiming to distract a small person, I’ve got down on the floor and started building with blocks. Not telling them what to do, or gabbing about what I’m doing, but simply, silently leading by example in creating my own playspace, and then quietly exiting the scene once they’re entrenched in their own work.
We’ve amassed quite a collection of blocks over the years. Plain squares and oblongs are a good base for any building and short planks serve as roads, walls and bridges. Dragonfly Toys and Honeybee Toys both have good sets of branch blocks. Of course, half the fun could be making them yourself. Collect some solid fallen branches and untreated timber offcuts from your local hardware store and cut them into assorted lengths. I find 5 year olds do great work with a block and some sandpaper. A big wicker basket from your local op shop and you’re in block business. Simple pleasures. Did I mention we’ve got new carpet?