SORT BY COLOR Have kids sort the blocks by color and count the number of each. Ask kids to line up the red blocks end-to-end, then the blue blocks, then the yellow. Which make the longest line? Challenge kids to rearrange the three lines (keeping red with red, blue with blue, and yellow with yellow) to make them shorter or longer. Have them do the same thing, but by stacking the blocks into towers instead of lining them up on the floor!
PATTERN POWER Create a pattern with four or more blocks. Have kids continue the pattern with other blocks. Have fun discovering different ways to make patterns -- lay blocks on the floor, stack them in towers, pay attention to horizontal and vertical orientation, etc.
SQUARES & RECTANGLES Talk to kids about which blocks are square and which are rectangular. Ask kids to explore different ways to make shapes of equal sizes using different blocks. For instance, two blue blocks side by side are the same size and shape as a red block. Have younger kids experiment by laying the blocks on top of each other; challenge older kids to create a shape the size of a block or blocks you are holding. Talk about half and whole, and, as kids get older, fractions!
HIDE OUT Have kids make a structure that will hide different household objects from view. Start with small things like a crayon or a chunky puzzle piece and hide it completely. Then, have them conceal larger items like a stuffed animal, book, or pillow behind a wall or tower. Lie down on the floor have them build a wall to hide you from view!
BUILD IT Blocks are great for building towers and walls and forts, but what else can kids build? The possibilities are endless! Suggest using the blocks to make a chair for a teddy bear, a table, a staircase, or a pyramid. Build roads and walls and combine with dolls, stuffed animals, toy cars, etc. to play "town." Challenge kids to arrange the blocks to look like their initials or the letters in their names.
KNOCK IT OFF! One of the best things about building towers with cardboard blocks is knocking them down! With this game, kids try to knock their tower down one block at a time. Have kids build a tower using six blocks. Starting at the tower, take three giant steps, turn around, and face the tower. Toss one of the small yellow blocks to try to knock just the top block off the tower! Repeat until the whole tower has been leveled. If kids knock off more than one block, they have to replace them and start again. Have fun varying the number of blocks, number of players, or the distance players stand from the tower. Or, try it blindfolded and try to knock down the whole tower with a single toss of a block!
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