July 11, 2017

Sea Breeze Soar in 4 families were on the road on July 5th to the Central Library

Our Soar in 4 families went on a family field trip to the Central Library! This Soar in 4 family field trip was a commitment. Families had to drive to meet us at a different location. This Soar in 4 event did not take place at their child’s school – it took place at Manatee County’s Central Library. Family field trips can be inconvenient BUT family field trips are fun way introduce children to a different way of learning. Field trips provide hands on learning. Families got to experience a different environment together. We got to see the library and we learned how to get a library card. Family field trips lead to new things to talk about and this will increase children’s vocabulary. Family field trips also advance brain development in children.

Research suggests that when parents are engaged and participating with their young child that their child learns more. So not only did we get to experience a family field trip our families played together with blocks. Block play is fun and engaging. Unlike screen time, blocks offer children experiential learning in the real, physical world. The smooth feel of the wood is satisfying to the touch, the sturdiness of the blocks allows the child to use them freely without breakage, and the open-ended quality of block play provides an opportunity for creativity and cognitive development to soar.

Block play can help support character development. Throughout the evening we read stories and sang songs from Conscious Discipline, our social-emotional classroom management program, because block play can also be challenging and frustrating — from the youngest child struggling to balance a tower, to the more experienced builder creating a complex structure. As children moved through the various stages of building (discovering blocks, stacking blocks, complex stacking, making enclosures, creating bridges or arches, combining enclosures and bridges, building with patterns and symmetry and building block structures that represent objects for pretend play) they had many opportunities to experiment, make mistakes, problem solve, and find solutions. Our volunteers provided families with the support to persevere with a structural challenge. The volunteer helped the families to set goals, carry out plans, be resilient, and maintain a positive attitude.

According to Frank Lloyd Wright, his life as an architect began with a gift of blocks from his mother: “I sat at the little Kindergarten tabletop … and played … with the cube, the sphere, and the triangle … I soon became susceptible to constructive patterns evolving in everything I saw. I learned to ‘see’ and when I did, I did not care to draw casual incidents of nature. I wanted to design.” – Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

I wonder how many of our Soar in 4 children will now consider becoming an architect after attending Blockfest during our family field trip to the Central Library?