Indoor Blocks

Dublin Core


Indoor Blocks


Wooden unit blocks are one of the basic materials used every day by children in Lower School Groups at City and Country School. Caroline Pratt, founder of City and Country, designed the first unit blocks in 1914. Pratt was a teacher seeking to create a school environment and materials that suit the way children learn best—through play and firsthand exploration. As she was developing ideas for her new school, she envisioned a community of children who could reproduce the world and its functioning and she sought a flexible and adaptable material that children could use to do it.

Blocks, and the dramatic play that accompanies block building, offer children multiple and diverse opportunities to express their understanding of the social and physical world in which they live. From the early efforts of two- and three-year-olds to stack and balance blocks to the dynamic communities of stores, services, and homes built by six- and seven-year-olds, children can experience a growing and vital sense of community. Working collaboratively to design block buildings, children learn to confidently articulate and solve problems, to negotiate, and to cooperate.

Collection Items

Block Structures, 1920
A classroom in 1920 filled with block structures.

IIs-IVs Block Train, Undated
A child runs a train on block track.

IVs Block Wall, 1990
Children build a wall with blocks.

Lower School, Blocks, Undated
Lower School children block building in the classroom.

Lower School, Blocks, Circa 1950
Lower School children block building in classroom.

Lower School, Blocks, Science, Undated
Lower School children using science materials in block building in classroom.

VIIs, Blocks, Map, 2007
VIIs build a large block map.

VIIs, Bridge Detail, 2008
VIIs work with blocks to build the Brooklyn Bridge.

VIs, Brooklyn Bridge, 1983-84
VIs and VIIs, combined groups in 1983-84, build the Brooklyn Bridge.

IVs, Indoor Blocks, 1924-25
A IVs indoor block building.
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