Everything old is new again: Today, the NY Times shares the hot new educational trend at NYC private and charter schools—wooden blocks. According to the Times, adults have been flooding to "oversubscribed" block building workshops to learn how to use the simple objects: "Jean Schreiber, a self-described 'block consultant,' advised the group to engage their children in building by photographing their work. 'Don’t rush to help them with structural challenges,' she said. 'You don’t have to ask them a million questions. Just sit with them and notice.'" Next trend: Crayons and construction paper help kids with drawing, writing!
There's some history about blocks—apparently the popular "unit blocks" were created in the 1900s and City and Country's founder, Caroline Pratt, "is credited with inventing unit blocks"—as well as factoids about block building helping kids with standardized test scores and how kids are now trolling the Internet for things to build. Still, the Times finds:
Perhaps the hottest pitch of late, particularly to high-stress, high-strung New York City parents, is that blocks can build the 21st-century skills essential to success in corporate America.
At the Chapin School on the Upper East Side, where educators have spent the last several years weaving a comprehensive block program into kindergarten and first-grade math and social studies, students toiled together on a grocery store and a fancy hotel one recent morning, beneath a sign that read: “When Partners Disagree They Try for a Win-Win Solution.” Nearby was another sign, outlining a seven-step building guide, that looked as boardroom as it did classroom.
Question, are these kids allowed to build encampments? At any rate, stronger block building skills mean that they will be ready for Germany's most famous block-building game, Stackenblocken.