Block Center


Open-Ended Materials

open-ended materials

The open-ended materials are located in the Block Center, but children are allowed to use them in any area of the room, for any creative use.

What’s in the Block Center

River Rocks, Leaves, Flowers

Children find many creative uses for the rocks, leaves, and flowers. They sometimes use them to decorate their block creations, or use them for imaginative play (for example, the rocks were recently used for pieces of chocolate in a chocolate factory).

Open Ended materials in the block center

Tree Blocks

These Tree Blocks are made from real trees, and still have the bark on them and show the tree rings. These are my favorite blocks because they look so natural, and encourage more problem-solving skills than most blocks.

Tree blocks in the block center


These are flags made with felt and dowel rods. The children designed them with glitter glue. They have used them in many ways: for creative movement, as decorations in the house center, as enhancements to their block creations.

Flags in the block center


These are fabric remnants (at least 1 yard) and curtain panels. Children use them with their block creations to make tents and houses, or as picnic blankets, as costumes, as a way to hide, and many other things.

Fabric in the block center


We have wooden and plastic animals, jungle animals, farm animals, dinosaurs.

Animals for the block center


We have wooden birdhouses (bought for $1 each at Dollar Tree).

Birdhouses for the block center


One day my students asked me if they could have construction paper in the block center. They used the paper to enhance a rocket ship they had built with the large hollow blocks. I decided to place a bucket of construction paper in the block center to see what they would create, and they came up with lots of creative ideas. The children brought tape and scissors from the art center as needed.

Add paper to your block center


This is a soft globe of the world.


Carpet Squares

Children use the carpet squares for hop-scotch style games, paths, cushions for cars or airplanes they build with blocks, and many other things.

Carpet Squares are open ended materials for the block center

Large Hollow Blocks

Children get so creative with the large hollow blocks– there’s no end to what they can make. They can make objects their own size and they can stand or sit on them. I’ve seen houses, stores, motorcycles, airplanes, castles, stages, and many, many things built with these.

Large hollow blocks in the blocks center

Block Idea Book

This is a book made with photos taken of the children’s constructions at the block center. Children can look through the book for ideas of things they can build, or just look through it for good memories. It has photos of current students plus photos of children from previous years which are often siblings or cousins of my current students.

Blocks Center Book

More Materials:

  • Wooden Trucks
  • Items Made by the Children
  • Small Wooden Cubes
  • Dollhouse Furniture and People
  • Astronauts and Space Shuttles
  • Construction Hats, Goggles, and Tools

Seasonal Materials to Add to the Block Center

Check out these links (just click the images below) to find ideas for things to add to your Block Center during the seasons!

Fall Block Play Ideas
Winter Block Center Play in Preschool
Spring Block Play Ideas
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