Parents can take their children from 8 months to 8 years for the one-hour experience. The event is set for Monday through Thursday in Cole Auditorium at Richmond Community College. Families can drop in on the exhibit between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and on Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Child care centers and other organized groups should schedule their visit by calling 997-3773, ext. 33.
Block Fest consists of five block stations, each with a different type of non-connecting block – big, small, round, square, wooden and foam. At each station, parents and children spend about 10 minutes playing with the blocks. Then parents and children move to a new block station with a different type of block.
“Through block play, children learn concepts such as quantity, patterns, sorting, counting, adding and subtracting, classifying, volume and area, and measurement,” said Martha Vance Brown, executive director of the Richmond County Partnership for Children, which is presenting the exhibit. “These fundamental concepts prepare children for understanding more advanced math concepts later in their school career. ” Research shows that early math learning is a predictor of school readiness in children.
Volunteers will assist the children and help parents understand how block play impacts early math learning, including sequencing, patterns and using math words.
Research shows that block play is important for many reasons including:
• Block play enhances early math thinking skills
• Early math skills are a key predictor of school readiness.
• Blocks have been shown to increase children’s math and science abilities later in life, which are critical skills in today’s economy.
• Block play also provides the opportunity to increase social skills and literacy of young children.
Block Fest is accessible to special needs children and Spanish speaking families.
For more information on the traveling exhibit, contact the Partnership at (910) 997-3773, ext. 33.