Connections to Our Community through Block Play

As we were driving out of town last week, Greysen shouted “Town!” from the backseat. She has also named a few other places we visit, most often with equal zeal when we arrive at or drive past them. I was excited to know that she recognizes and is excited about these places. It seems that her sense of home and community is indeed expanding.


I thought about her block play. Greysen is at the age where her play is representational. She pretends to go places and see people, but they are all places she has recently been to and people she has recently seen as opposed to imaginary ones.  When we play with the blocks, she most often indicates that the blocks are to represent roads. So, to add to this play, I thought that I would introduce some blocks that represented familiar locales from her life.


I photographed her local haunts: the library, the grocery store, the post office, our house, Dad’s office, and her Abuelito’s office (ASIDE: I printed the pics on glossy paper because I wanted to be sure that they were vibrant representations, but I think this type of paper made the wraparound pics more difficult to adhere to the boxes).


Photographing the buildings was a bit harder than I had anticipated. I originally snapped pics as we went about our regular routines, because after all these are the places we go throughout the week. But, Mike had to go back and re-shoot a couple of them because the angles I shot were not great.


Mostly, I figured that if Greysen recognized the buildings, that would do well enough.


I used boxes that I had saved from Christmas deliveries. The photographs could also be fixed to blocks if boxes aren’t available, but I especially wanted to use boxes to create a tall-ish skyline.



I had planned on using clear contact paper to stick the photographs to the boxes, but I found that taping the photos at the edges was easier. I also covered some of the boxes with plain paper so that the print would not distract from the buildings.


I set it up while she napped.



She was eager to get to it!


She pushed her cars from building to building, telling the stories of her days, “Abuela, go bye-bye. Go get cow’s milk.”



Greysen is familiar with and recognizes each of these places when we arrive at them. I hope that by having these little bits of the town at her fingertips, it helps her to feel more familiar and thus more connected to her community.




2 thoughts on “Connections to Our Community through Block Play

    1. Thanks, she really is. She’s talking while she pushes her cars around, much more self-talk than usual. She especially likes the grocery store block. She asks Mike to tell her about what the people are doing in the photo (pushing carts, in case you were wondering).

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