You may have noticed the girls in April Woodhull's Junior Kindergarten class walking around with clipboards, paper and pencils over the last couple of weeks, observing the architecture and sketching various parts of the Stuart campus. While it may have looked like the girls in the youngest grade in the Lower School were just drawing for fun, they were actually conducting research on the topics of architecture and engineering. After the girls completed their research, they returned to the classroom where they participated in sessions of creative block building.
Creative block building is not just a time for play, but it's also a time of discovery and inquiry that fosters social and academic skills. The girls demonstrated teamwork as they discussed size, weight, balance and the planning necessary to create successful replicas of different parts of the Stuart campus.
Building block structures can increase creativity, promote spatial skills, language development, divergent thinking, collaborative problem-solving, and math and science skills. Reproducing structures, as in the replication of Serpentine Parlor above, promotes several types of learning. Spatial awareness skills are enhanced as the mind must analyze 3-D shapes. The development of divergent thinking skills is necessary as there are many possible solutions when building a structure. Exposure to this type of activity helps children develop creative problem-solving, cooperative play skills, socialization and language development which will be incredibly valuable in social and academic situations for the rest of their lives.