Sunday, February 23, 2020

The 3 Minute Building Block Challenge

We are always on the lookout for ways to freshen up our block play. This 3 Minute Challenge was so much fun, and it also added a generous helping of numeracy to our play.

We were kindly gifted this Blocks Rock! game. You can use code FINDMORE for 15% off on Amazon (cannot be combined with other Amazon offers). All opinions and images are our own and completely genuine.

Blocks are a real staple of play in our house. We often like to add an extra element of challenge to freshen up the play. Here we enjoyed adding a basic kitchen timer to our Blocks Rock! game to work on numeracy and the concept of time.

What you need:

- blocks and build cards (we used our Blocks Rock! set but you could always make your own cards for blocks you have at home)
- timer (ours was less than a dollar from Walmart)
- whiteboard and whiteboard marker with eraser

How it works:

The first stage was to draw up our all-important score board. You can make this as simple or complex as you like to make it age appropriate. My son and I decided that we would play the 3 Minute Challenge for two rounds and that we would record the results as a tally. We only needed half the blocks as we took it in turns to complete the challenge.

Next up I challenged my 6 yr old to set the timer to 3 minutes. This prompted so much fun conversation about the difference between minutes and seconds. The timer proved to be quite an exciting learning tool!

Once the timer was set to 3 minutes we were all set to get started. Big bro went first and raced against the clock to complete as many build cards in 3 minutes as possible.

Each time he completed a build, he hit the bell, knocked down the tower, and added the card to his completed pile.

The process of fast building was a great workout for his fine motor skills, as well as testing his engineering skills whilst under pressure.

He was constantly checking the clock and talking about the time. It can be confusing for kids to grasp the concept of time counting down, as well as how many seconds there are in a minute. This is a great hands on way for them to experience the concepts. Once the time was up, he counted his completed builds and added the tally marks to the whiteboard.

We played two rounds and then big bro added up the totals (another great numeracy link). Unsurprisingly, and much to his delight, he beat me!!

What I loved most about this activity was that it prompted so much discussion around the concept of time. Big bro and baby sis have both been playing non-stop with the timer, making various challenges for each other to complete in a set time. Big bro now understands that the time shown is how much time is left, and that he needs to do some subtraction to work out how long the challenge took to complete.

What are your favorite ways to teach your kids about time?

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