Presenting Unit Blocks

Presenting Unit Blocks
Blocks on a shelf

In my personal opinion, the most Montessori thing about unit blocks (which for the record are not a Montessori thing) is that the way to present them is to simply prepare the environment.

Unit blocks need a shelf.  For effective block work and play, it’s a need. I can almost guarantee that if you own blocks but they are currently stored in a big box or basket and you just take them out & organize them onto a shelf, they will get more play and more meaningful play immediately.

Just like we prepare our shelves with work and/or toys to be easily accessible and visually appealing to our kids the same goes for unit blocks.

“Play is the work of the child” (as Piajet wrote) and unit blocks are a tool for humongous important play. If we’re choosing to invest in unit blocks for our homes or classrooms we need to also invest in the space to store them properly. Or it may be wise to skip it. You don’t need a fancy shelf made especially for blocks, you just need a shelf 😊

To set up a block shelf follow these steps:

  1. Sort your blocks by shape and size.
  2. Organize the blocks on a shelf grouped by their shape and size. Make sure that each type of block is visible and accessible without having to move things out of the way. This may take some trial & error.
  3. (optional) Label the shelves using photographs of each block shape or with paper silhouettes which you can make by tracing the face of each block.

Once you have your block shelf all set just spend time with it. If they somehow don't notice the blocks, you can invite your children to have a tour of the shelf. But I honestly would not do much more than that.
Blocks properly presented are naturally enticing.

If you are thinking “my child doesn't like blocks" my question for you is: Are they stored in a big bin? Or are they beautifully presented on a shelf?