Brilliant block play

A staple that every home and classroom should have are building blocks!  Building blocks are a fabulous open-ended toy that promotes creativity, engineering, logic, cooperation, the list could go on and on.  There are so many brilliant ways to use building blocks in your home or classroom that I thought I might take a few minutes to highlight some of them…

Brilliant block play by Teach Preschool

Let’s first begin by talking about what types of blocks are available for play…

  • Wooden blocks seem to be one of the most popular choices for preschool classroom; They are durable and even when handled on a daily basis, they can last for years.
  • There are unit blocks, which come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.
  • There are cube shaped alphabet blocks which are commonly made out of wood.
  • There are colorful window blocks, sometimes filled with interesting objects like sand or water.
  • There are blocks made of foam.
  • There are blocks made of plastic: Bristle blocks, Legos, and Duplos are probably the most commonly found plastic blocks.
  • There are cardboard blocks in the shape of bricks for large scale building.
  • You can even have wooden block accessories which come in the shapes of trees, people, houses, cars, traffic symbols, and more…

Brilliant block play by Teach Preschool

The type of blocks you offer your children really doesn’t matter.  What matters is that there are building materials available so that children can construct and create.  If you have several different types of blocks, you might consider rotating them in and out to keep the children interested in building.  Another great way to keep children interested in building is by offering different ways to build.  No one ever said that building had to take place on the floor or at a table.  Try building with blocks on an easel covered with sticky paper or building with magnetic blocks like these from You Clever Monkey…

building a base to stack the blocks on

DIY Coloured magnetic blocks

Transform your blocks with unique materials.  Chasing Cheerios added velcro to her blocks for an interesting building experience…


Babble Dabble Do sets out clay with her blocks for her children to create some really awesome clay and wood block structures

Brilliant block play by Teach Preschool

Another fun way to transform your blocks is with a coat of chalkboard paint like we see shared over at An Idea on Tuesday…

Brilliant block play by Teach Preschool

Challenge your children to build different structures or to solve puzzles with blocks.  The Imagination Tree created shape block matching picture cards to encourage her daughter recognize shapes and patterns…

Brilliant block play by Teach Preschool

This fun dice game also challenges children to build “up” with blocks as far as they can go…

Building up the word up by Teach Preschool

Blocks can be used to explore colors, shapes, patterns, or for matching games.  Here we explore shapes with blocks on the table

Exploring shapes on the table by Teach Preschool

Putting shapes on the lines

Combine water and block play with some sponge block water play puzzles

Sponge block water play by Teach Preschool

During circletime, blocks can also be used for literacy and story telling

"Changes, Changes" by Pat Hutchins

Lastly, use those blocks to promote art and creativity.  Play a fun building block drawing game with alphabet blocks…

Building block drawings in #preschool by Teach Preschool

Or trace around your blocks to create building block blueprints

Painted block blueprints


In our classroom, the majority of our Top Ten list of Toys for the Preschool Classroom falls in the area of building, engineering or block play!…

Top Ten Toys for the Preschool Classroom by Teach Preschool


What are your most favorite brilliant ways to play with building blocks?  Share them in our comments section below.

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By |2014-05-29T06:00:39+00:00May 29th, 2014|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Nichole {youclevermonkey} May 29, 2014 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for including my mini magnetic blocks in you post Teach Preschool! We’ve had lots of fun playing with them different ways. Such a great list of ideas! Sharing 🙂

  2. Emma @ P is for Preschooler May 29, 2014 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    So many great block ideas – my little builder is going to love them!

  3. Ana June 1, 2014 at 10:51 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing our structures!

  4. Amanda Mason June 2, 2014 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    I have noticed that block play is such a hit in our classroom 🙂 Thanks for sharing some new ideas for us to implement!

  5. Mary Catherine June 4, 2014 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    As always, such a great resource! I have more ideas to take back to my preschoolers next school year. 🙂

  6. Example Post 3 | Teach Preschool June 21, 2018 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    […] Here are a few other ways our block-lovin’ students explore with blocks around the classroom: Brilliant Block Play! […]

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