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This activity is one of a set of trial Early Years Foundation Stage resources. For further information and links to others in the set, please see the introductory page.
Gather together a selection of different cuboids (or nearly cuboids!), for example bricks, blocks, dominoes, crates and small boxes.
It may be that the children have collected a small number of cuboids whilst involved in some other activity, for example through a story or role play.
This activity is applicable to indoor and outdoor environments through free-flow play.
Encourage the children to build up towers using the materials.
Questions to ask
See what you can make.
Tell me about this.
What will you choose next? Why?
Could you make it taller/as tall as/shorter/thinner/fatter? Could you make it stretch further? ...
Have you given it a name? Do you want to call it something?
(On noticing that the child rejects one of the cuboids, perhaps it's appropriate to ask them 'tell me about this one'.)
Have you finished? How do you know?
Shall we look at what everyone has made?
Why has it fallen down?
After a little while you might want to add a simple rule, for example:
All blocks must touch the floor
None of the blocks must be on their own
Only one block can touch the floor
The tower must balance
Use of geometric describing words and words of position e.g. flat, corner, next to, between, on top of, underneath, balance etc
Use of language of comparison e.g. bigger, taller, smaller, shorter, fatter, wider, lower, higher, same, different, like etc
Use of counting and number comparison
Overcoming difficulties when constructing
In addition to these mathematical observations you will have opportunities to observe other aspects of the EYFS Themes and Commitments (for example aspects of Creative Development, Knowledge and Understanding of the World etc). You may like to print off one of these sheets as an aide (1, 2, 3), on which you can note down what individual children say and do as they engage with the activity.