(INDIANAPOLIS) – Blocks Rock!, LLC, makers of the competitive structured block-play educational game for children in grades K–6, today announced an expansion of the game specifically to meet the early learning needs of pre-kindergarteners. The new Pre-K game includes a curriculum guide aligned with the Indiana Early Learning Foundations to help young children build their foundational STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and SEL (social-emotional learning) skills, among others, through hands-on guided block play.
Blocks Rock! challenges Pre-K children, individually or in groups, to use colored blocks to recreate patterns on Blocks Rock! Pre-K STEM cards. The game helps children develop foundational STEM skills of spatial reasoning, pattern recognition, problem-solving, and fine motor skills. It also helps them develop early language skills as they engage in conversations about their building. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) supports block play to learn these skills and others including imagination, creativity, self-expression, and SEL growth.
Also available is an easy-to use-Indiana curriculum guide, developed in partnership with professors from Purdue University Northwest School of Education and Counseling. The guide assists Pre-K educators in implementing the game to best help their learners meet Indiana Early Learning Foundations, especially in SEL, Play and Learning, Science, Math, English/Language Arts, and Physical Health and Growth. Curriculum guides for the national Head Start program, as well as California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and Oklahoma will be released in the coming weeks.
“Researchers have long documented the educational benefits of block-play for early learners, including development of spatial visualization and cognitive flexibility skills—both STEM skills—and critical social-emotional competencies,” said Mary Jane Eisenhauer, EdD, Professor of Early Childhood Education at the School of Education and Counseling at Purdue University Northwest. “The curriculum guide helps early childhood teachers draw the direct connection between a child’s Blocks Rock! play and the Indiana Early Learning Foundations we all want children to develop.”
“Blocks Rock! has not only helped my students increase their logistical and spatial reasoning skills, but the competitive and teamwork aspects are helping them learn conflict resolution and how to be gracious winners and losers,” said a teacher at an Indianapolis STEM Preschool.
Blocks Rock! is the only competitive structured block-play game in the industry. Using cards or a 3-D computer app, students in grades K–6 compete, individually or in teams, to build color- and shape-specific structures in the shortest amount of time. Research from Indiana University found that the problem-solving involved in structured block play activates the area of the brain involving mental rotation and spatial reasoning, skills critical for STEM success. The competitive and teamwork aspects of the game also help students develop skills aligned with Indiana SEL Competencies. They learn how to navigate competitive situations, practice self-regulation, and collaborate to solve problems as a team, while building critical thinking and decision-making skills.
“For years, adults and children have loved Blocks Rock!, so we’re proud to introduce an age-appropriate version for pre-kindergarten learners,” said Jim LaCrosse, founder of Blocks Rock!, LLC. “The game is fun, and helps children develop a range of academic and STEM, SEL, and fine motor skills, so it’s a natural for both classroom and home play.”
About Blocks Rock!
Blocks Rock! has been engaging students in competitive structured block play since 2005. Invented by a team of middle school students as part of a national toy design competition, the game is used in hundreds of schools, clubs and libraries globally.