A “math-friendly” culture is one that views math as fun, friendly, important, a source of curiosity, and useful in everyday life. Parents, side-by-side with their child in block play, model positive dispositions toward math and learning such as playfulness, curiosity, creativity, and problem solving. They are taking the first steps in creating their own math-friendly, math successful culture at home.
And did you know that young children can learn literacy skills while playing with blocks? Young children learn skills for reading by listening to word sounds, being read to and seeing words in print. Throughout the evening children used their imagination and language when identifying the shapes of the blocks and imagining what they could be. Dramatic play continued as sculptures were built, stories were created and ideas were communicated. And each family left with multiple books to read together. After finishing each book they can record their achievement in their Suncoast Summer Book Challenge log.
Throughout the evening our community volunteers encouraged literacy learning while asking open ended questions during block play: “Tell me about what you are building. What animals live in your barn?” “What is another way to make a block road?” “What would happen if that train could fly?”
Young children learn about people and things while playing with blocks. Every day children learn more about how things work, how people act, and the many groups and categories around them. They learn by asking questions, talking about ideas, and trying them out in play.
Our family field trip to the library introduced the Soar in 4 families to the multitude of free resources that are accessible in their own neighborhood. No matter where you live your surroundings can provide rich experiences that can help develop your child’s knowledge. The more knowledge children have the more success they will have in reading. Blockfest provided an evening for our parents to model, while playing with their children, that learning is a priority.