The Block Center in Child Care


Unit blocks on blue rug

Block play is a valuable learning tool for young children of all ages. By setting aside an area for block play within the child care space, child care providers are creating an area for imaginative cooperative play. Children playing with blocks are practicing a wide variety of developmental skills, including manipulating objects, creating structures, and working together.

Block Play Supports Children’s Development

Block play enhances young children’s development across several different domains. Look for the following skills as children interact …

Age-Appropriate Toy Ideas for Child Care

Choosing the best toys for children of different ages is one of the most important jobs of a child care provider. Matching toys to children’s age, ability, interests, and developmental goals requires careful thought and planning.

Even though children have different abilities and preferences, there are some classic toys that most groups of young children enjoy at different ages. The following ideas may help you get started choosing toys for different age groups. Remember that these lists are just a …

Toys and Materials in Child Care

Shelf of toys

When picking out toys and materials for your child care program, there are some things to remember. The best toys are ones that help children play and learn in many different ways. Toys that have only one way to be used typically don’t hold children’s interest.

  • Make a list of toys that you have. Make a wish list too. Often it works better to buy or acquire materials and equipment gradually than to go out and purchase everything at once.

Things to Consider when Choosing Toys and Materials for Child Care

Snap lock beads

Choosing appropriate toys and materials is an important part of the child care provider’s job. There’s no one right toy for all ages. To decide on the best toys for a specific child care program or classroom, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How old are the children? Infants just learning to crawl need very different toys than active preschoolers or curious school-age children.
  • What are the children most interested in right now? Young toddlers who are developing motor skills may