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Learning through Block Play

January 20, 2021 | Sossi Essajanian

The blocks shelves have been beckoning!

This week the children learned the names and characteristics of various blocks as well as how to Build Strong and Safe structures.

Block play facilitates multifaceted learning experiences.

They are a time for children to:

  • explore topics or concepts
  • make independent choices
  • work with their hands
  • foster cooperative play (practice social skills by designing and building with others)
  • use dramatic or imaginative play
  • experiment with shape, part/whole, symmetry, proportion, balance
  • plan and problem-solve

Children first learned about the Unit block and where they live on the block shelf.

One of the foundational skills in block play is Building Safe. 

Children learned that this means…

  • Carrying one or two blocks at a time BELOW their shoulders
  • Taking care in the building zone by walking, stepping over instead of on top of blocks, and leaving space for others to walk around a structure.

Another concept is Building Strong.

This means…

  • Looking carefully at a structure and adjusting as needed
  • Stacking blocks versus piling them
  • Lining up blocks


Children learned the first step of cleaning up blocks: stacking. They are stacked 4 blocks tall.

Sossi Essajanian

Teacher, Sky Class

Sossi Essajanian is excited to continue her teaching and learning journey at the Mustard Seed School. She began teaching at the United Nations International School where she worked with children and colleagues from around the world. This inspired her to take a primary teaching position abroad in Nicosia, Cyprus, where she lived and worked for two years.

Ms. Essajanian has a passion for supporting children’s social/emotional skills and learning through a loving and caring classroom community. These are built on creating shared understandings and opportunities for children to identify and express their feelings and of those around them. She believes in creating experiences through pair and group work where learning blossoms through social experiences.

Ms. Essajanian also enjoys reading and talking about books and continues to pursue her second passion: editing. She’s worked in various editorial capacities in newspapers, magazines, and books. She was recently excited to serve as the development editor of a children’s book about engineering and is looking forward to leading some tinkering investigations of her own with her students!

In her free time Ms. Essajanian runs, swims laps, and likes to take long walks to explore the world around her.

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