We were very lucky to receive 25 cedar blocks of different shapes, different lengths. When I first put them out onto the playground I had stacked them in three separate piles. We split the group of children into two, so the first group came out and they immediately spotted something new on the playground. They screamed over – one child put her arms around them went “mine, mine, mine”. There was all the excitement and almost hysteria of something new. So they started to set them up, move them around, they just took ownership of them straight away, without any guidance from the staff. They just set to work and worked diligently with the blocks for an hour.
They had them built up on top of the bench, they had put them up on their edge, they put balls in the middle, they ended up putting them down onto the ground. They made ramps, they were putting bark mulch up and ramps and watching it slide down. Two children ended up putting them on their bicycles and cycling them around like deliveries. And then a couple had them under their arm going down the slide. It was just tremendous, it was richer than rich. And I could have stayed there all day just watching them, and I reckon the children could have stayed on the playground all day just exploring with the blocks.
The second group came out, went over and grabbed them, knocked them all down onto the concrete and in three groups they set to building. Making airplanes and tracks for their hotwheels. The girls were doing balancing and made a teetor-totter. It was unbelieveable. We’re flying, we’re doing exercises, we’re making ramps. I can’t say enough about the quality, and to what they have brought to the children in terms of play. It has enhanced the program 150%, so I can only say more blocks! The blocks, they work magic. The behaviours were diminished, they were focused, they were working together, there was teamwork. They were even chanting “teamwork, teamwork!”
One little one made a television room and there was a wall to keep her family comfortable. The language was just fantastic, they were using their imaginations to the utmost. I just say the sky’s the limit and I look forward to each day out there with those blocks. They’re wooden blocks, but boy I tell you, they beat any plastic toys we’ve had out there. They are amazing – Thank you to the blocks.
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About the Maker
Phil Adams, the maker of the Rugged Indoor / Outdoor Blocks is a woodworker, he has held a lumber grading ticket for many years. Drawing from his extensive experience he has learned how to recognize and categorize the various grades of this exceptionally versatile lumber. The lumber is dried naturally over time and is not kiln dried. The blocks are softly routered, finished by hand and end sealed with a non toxic wax finish.
While, Phil combines his practical knowledge and background education in architectural, garden, landscape, industrial design and drafting to produce these exquisite outdoor blocks, it’s his love of wood that motivated him to create Rugged Indoor / Outdoor Blocks. He believes that taking this beautiful material and putting it into the hands of children will connect them to nature and encourage the developing imagination and creative spirit of the children.
Video: Watch the Kids at Bethany Childcare Enjoying these Blocks
Photos: See the Kids at Bethany Childcare Enjoying these Blocks