Ideas for organizing and stocking a preschool block center. You can also use these ideas for kindergarten block centers and building areas set up at home!
Every year, there’s a group of kiddos who love building and creating in the block center. Some years, the entire class is completely enamored with the area, and I don’t blame them. There’s a reason blocks have been a traditionally loved children’s toy!
Take a Tour of the Preschool Block Center
Everyday items to keep in the center
Below are what we have stocked in the block center all the time. There’s a wide variety of items available, but I may add large colorful blocks sometime in the near future.
- Hardwood blocks
- Colorful wood blocks
- Multicultural families
- Wooden town blocks
- Colorful glass jewels
- Empty thread spools
- Empty cardboard boxes
To enhance the students’ experience in the block area, I store a few other items on the side of the building shelf. “Work in progress” signs are hung on the side of the shelf. The children use those signs to tell others that they aren’t quite done with their buildings. On the back of the shelf, I have tons of pictures of the kids with their structures.
I made a flip book of structures from around the world, too. The children love to check out the buildings and try to recreate those structures. To create the book, I scoured Creative Commons images for ideas. Then I labeled the pictures, printed them out, and laminated them. They hang on a ring on the side of the building shelf.
I also have books in a basket near the building center. These books relate to building, structures, transportation, etc. Here are some books to include with the blocks:
- We Share Everything by Robert Munsch
- The White House by Lloyd G. Douglas
- 13 Buildings Children Should Know by Annette Roeder
- Building Our House by Jonathan Bean
- Three Little Pigs by Golden Books
Other items for the block center
A preschool block center can be used for so much — building, creating, 3-dimensional art, small worlds, and pretend play. Despite all of the storage space I have, there’s just no way to contain everything the kiddos could use here. So I have other toys stored in my classroom closet, and we have a ton of additional items in our school workroom. Some of the fun things to add to the block area include:
Storage and Organization in the Building Center
The every day block center items are kept in a mobile shelf. I love it because it has wheels. Since I have to move the furniture on a weekly basis (we are located in a church, and they use the classrooms on the weekend), this makes my life easier! The blocks keep the shelf sturdy, though, so the kids cannot move the shelf accidentally.
The small items are kept in plastic tubs. I made sure to label the tubs are labeled, and their spots on the shelf are labeled as well. The larger items are organized on the shelves directly.
I used Contact paper to help guide the children in putting away these large blocks. I measured the contact paper to the size of the shelves, then traced the blocks using a pencil. Then I went back over the pencil using a permanent marker. From there, I put the Contact paper on the appropriate shelf. The kiddos do an amazing job cleaning up the building center when they’re done thanks to this organization.
Other Preschool Building Centers
Pop on over and see how others have their block centers setup:
- PreKinders’ building area
- The block center at Pre-K Pages
- How Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds has her area set up
How do you have your preschool block center set up? If you teach other grades or home school, how are your blocks organized?
Originally published on January 19, 2014
If you’re looking for ideas related to building, check out my Building & Games Pinterest board.