"Too exciting not to talk!"

Block cello

I visited a London primary school that had set up a "block play room", and was fascinated by the dramatic improvement in communication and social skills the teachers described. One girl, en elective mute, began talking to her teachers as she played with blocks. Another child talked at home, but not at school - until the block play sessions began. "It's too exciting not to talk!" he explained.

Early years experts have noted the connection between block play and language development. It's not surprising. Blocks are so open-ended, children often have to verbally explain representation (that's my cello, not a bulldozer), not to mention the planning, collaboration, and "what-if" conversations inherent in block play.

Right now, as nurseries consider how to use their EYPP funding, many are looking to improve language skills. Why not invest in blocks?

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