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PROBLEM SOLVING WITH BLOCKS


Blocks are a great manipulative for young children.  They can be used to teach many things, but one of their best uses is to encourage children to problem solve.

SORTING BLOCKS
Have your children sort their blocks by color, shape or size.
  
PATTERNING
Using the sorted piles from the activity above, make a pattern with the blocks.
     Example:  you had your child sort the blocks by shape.
Make a line of blocks, such as; two square blocks, one rectangle block, two square blocks, etc.  Have your child try to match your line with an identical one below it.
 
PROPORTION
Find a large rectangular block and have your child find two blocks that equal the same size as the one larger block.
Look for other blocks that are double or other multiples of smaller blocks.
Set out a balance scale and have children put a large block on one side and then experiment finding a group of smaller blocks that will equal the size of the larger block.
 
MOVING BLOCKS
Tell your children that you need to move the blocks in your room (or house) to a new location.
Have your child or children try to think of ways you can move the blocks.
 
BLOCK EXPERIMENTS
Here are some ideas for things children could experiment with using blocks.
Set out some squares of flooring.  Have your children decide which surface is the easiest to build on.  (Wood, carpet, rubber, artificial turf, cork board, etc.)
Set out a cardboard box.  Have your children see how many blocks they can fit into the box.
Weight blocks to see which block is the heaviest.
Have children see how high they can build a tower.
 
BLOCK PROJECTS
Give your children a project to build.  Examples:  a hill, a road, a house, a bridge, a shape, a letter, etc.
Perhaps break them into two groups and see how different children solved the same problem in different ways.