Anyone who knows me well, knows I am no stranger to Home Depot. Having married a man with a penchant for home remodeling, I have learned to navigate the aisles well, in search of the right size of screws, the critically needed electrical wire, or the aesthetically pleasing cabinet pull. Almost without fail, I see something at “the Depot” that appeals to the preschool teacher in me (or maybe it’s the preschooler in me).
So this one’s pretty obvious, but sometimes we need to be reminded of the obvious. (Like the time the store clerk had to remind me to actually take my bags with me after paying.) You may be thinking, “I just put dinosaurs in the sensory table. Isn’t this pretty much the same thing?” Well, yes and no. You can certainly use the same set of dinosaurs, but you’re going to get a different type of play. In the sensory table, you obviously get sensory play, along with language and dramatic play, but the theme of that dramatic play is likely about flooding or burying. In the block area, the play is constructive and spatial. The language and dramatic play elements are still there, but likely in the sense of the dinosaurs seeking refuge in a home or cave, or being trapped or caged. It may even take on a familial script, or something we couldn’t even imagine yet. The children not only play with the dinosaurs in a different way in the two areas, but they will play with the blocks in a different way than they do without the dinosaurs. So don’t worry about it being redundant. Get those dinosaurs out in your block area too. The children will love it, and you’ll be surprised at how their play changes.