Preschool Block Center – Touring My Classroom

So much of what I write about here at Fun-A-Day takes place in my preschool classroom.  Over the course of the next few weeks, I’d like to give you some snapshots into how my classroom is set up this year.  My students this year LOVE building and creating, so I wanted to show you my version of a preschool block center.

Preschool Block Center - Touring My Classroom

Tour of my classroom – My preschool block center

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Every Day Items
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.

Side Items
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.

Preschool Block Center - Touring My Classroom

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.  I’ve recently been informed that I need to add more pictures to the flip book, so I’ll be doing just that!  To create the book, I scoured Google 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.

Preschool Block Center - Touring My Classroom

I also have books in a basket near the building center.  These books relate to building, structures, transportation, etc.  Some books that might be included here are:

Preschool Block Center - Touring My Classroom

Additional items
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
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.

Preschool Block Center - Touring My Classroom

The small items are kept in plastic tubs.  The tubs are labeled, and their spots on the shelf are labeled as well.  The larger items are organized on the shelves directly.  Miss Brit gave me the idea to use 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, the Contact paper was stuck to the appropriate shelf.  The kiddos do an amazing job cleaning up the building center when they’re done thanks to this organization.

Preschool Block Center - Touring My Classroom

How do you have your preschool block center set up?  If you teach other grades or home school, how are your blocks organized?

If you’re looking for ideas related to building, check out my Building & Games Pinterest board.

Follow Mary Catherine @ Fun-A-Day!’s board * Building/Games for Kids on Pinterest.

Comments

    • says

      Thank you so much, Stacey! Keep in mind, I’m in the States. I started with a small set of structures (about 10), some of which the kiddos were already familiar with. Since the children are SO into building this year, a few of them asked for more pages in our building book. I have tried my best to bring in different cultures and countries, but I’m still learning here too! :) Here’s what I have as of now . . .

      The Great Wall of China
      The White House (USA)
      The Parthenon (Greece)
      Stonehenge (England)
      Eiffel Tower (France)
      Rome Colosseum (Italy)
      Chrysler Building (USA)
      Statue of Liberty (USA)
      Sydney Opera House (Australia)
      Big Ben (England)
      The Kremlin (Russia)
      Pyramids of Giza (Egypt)
      Machu Picchu (Peru)
      El Castillo (Mexico)
      Nabemba Tower (Republic of Congo)
      Taj Mahal (India)
      Burj Khalifa (United Arab Emirates)
      Hagia Sophia (Turkey)
      Brandenburg Gate (Germany)
      Sagrada Familia (Spain)
      Neuschwanstein (Bavaria)
      Angkor Wat (Cambodia)
      The Blue Mosque (Turkey)
      Forbidden City (China)
      Faisal Mosque (Pakistan)
      Temple of Besakih (Indonesia)
      The Wailing Wall (Israel)
      Minaret of Jam (Afghanistan)
      Golden Temple of Amritsar (India)
      Newgrange (Ireland)

  1. says

    My block center in my Kindergarten classroom used to look very similar. I love organization and think that they kids are able to learn when everything has a place. I need to make a picture book for my own house so that my kids can build replicas of famous structures. Great idea for global learning. Shared via Twitter

    • says

      Thanks for the kind words and all the sharing, Amanda! :) My son helped me choose some of the newer structures that were added to the preschool book. Needless to say, we’ll also be making a book for my house.

  2. says

    I love the way you’ve organized your block area! The signs for “work in progress” are fantastic (I wish I was still in the classroom!). And, the contact paper to draw the shapes of your unit blocks is an idea I’m going to use here at home! Thank you…I’ve been dreading cutting up paper to match each block shape, but now I can use your idea!! Love it! :)

    • says

      Thanks for the great feedback, Katie! It is amazing how well the “work in progress” signs help the children. I’ve noticed that those signs have begun migrating around the room to a variety of other centers now. I actually need to print and laminate more. The sticky paper works sooooo well — I would definitely suggest that rather than cutting up pieces of paper!

  3. Ruth says

    Love your block center set-up: the books in a basket and the flip book of actual buildings/structures I will definately be adding to our center: Thank you!!

  4. Leigh Ann Gombac says

    I also would like to know what other structures you have in your picture flip book, what a great idea!!

      • Leigh Ann Gombac says

        Yes, I was able to get the information requested. What a lot of structures, I think I shall start with a few then add as the children get bored. Thank you!!

        • says

          I would definitely start with just a few as well! I started with about 10. Since these kiddos are SO interested in the buildings, they actually asked for more. That’s why there’s such a long list! :) Plus, it’ll be easy to rotate the pictures out every so often.

  5. Chris says

    Great ideas. One thing that I also do is have the child or children who built a structure leave their name on it. They do this by writing their own names then they draw around their hand and put a cross through it. This is then a reminder to others to please leave it alone. Buildings can remain up for the day or sometimes longer.

    • says

      Oh, that is a lovely idea!! I may need to incorporate the name writing sign into our block area as well. Thanks so much for sharing it! I so wish I could let the blocks stay up for however long the kids want, but we’re located in a church and have to have everything put away at the end of the day (since we share the room). But I love that your kiddos can keep them up!

  6. Michelle says

    Thank you for this great post! I love your ideas and have just spent the evening making up a book of structures for our own nursery construction area. It will give our children some wonderful inspiration and encourage them to build with a purpose!

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