Block Party events finish in Rush County this weekend, but the learning will continue. The final events for this year are tonight at Arlington Elementary from 5:30 – 7 p.m. and at tomorrow’s Kindergarten Roundup, 8 a.m. to noon at Rushville Elementary. Both events are open to the public. Next week the blocks will move on to another county to be used by Purdue Extension educators to show that when parents play with their children there are valuable learning opportunities.
Block play helps with physical development. It is perfect for impulse control, the ability to plan one’s actions, to slow down the speed of one’s actions, and to stop oneself from impulsive movements. Learning impulse control early in life predicts better school performance and less problem behaviors later. Building structures teaches preschoolers skills to classify, seperate and conserve in their play and this was found to increase their standardized achievement results in kindergarten and first grade. Playing with blocks has the potential to teach children mathematics through order, fractions, area, height and width; eye-hand coordination, principles of sciences, stability and balance, language arts through labeling, and recognizing shapes; patterns and symmetry; helps to develop cooperation and learn clean up and symbolic representation. What more can we want from something that is also fun?
This program was designed to address the Purdue Extension’s initiative dealing with School Readiness. This is one of ten initiatives included in the Purdue Extension Strategic Plan for 2011-2015. For information about this and other programs contact Extension Educator Gracie Marlatt, at Purdue Extension – Rush County, 932-5974 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.