I will never forget my first visit to the Children’s Museum in Philadelphia back in the 80’s. It’s called The Please Touch Museum and it’s a wonderful, hands-on museum. But, it wasn’t the typical fare of a great children’s museum that caught my eye.
It was the collection of Frank Lloyd Wright’s childhood blocks. He attributed his interest in architecture and building to his childhood blocks.
Of course he did!
I think this was the first time I realized what happens in childhood, in my classroom, has a marked impact on what happens in adulthood. I knew what I did for children would be incredibly important.
This year I have a classroom of builders. The simple maple wood blocks that Wright used as a child are the most popular item in my class. Legos are a close second, but blocks are #1. Thank goodness!
And, there’s more. my class loves nature. Frank Lloyd Wright did, too. His architecture was built into nature, as if the two were meant to live together in harmony. Well, he was right.
“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” ~Frank Lloyd Wright~
My children love to find beetles, pick buttercups, plant in the garden, watch birds, and dig for worms. They still admire the Wish Tree now that leaves are growing around their wishes. Somehow I find it deeply satisfying to know that they are both builders and nature lovers. I think Frank Lloyd Wright would, too.
Combining architecture into natural surroundings should be the primary goal of house building companies. Sadly, they mostly destroy nature to build identical houses on soulless estates that look the same all over Britain.
Best wishes, Pete.
Same over here, Pete. It’s sad. I’m glad Wright isn’t around to see it. Best to you.
All of this is such important work in early childhood
Yes! I wish you had been with me when I saw those blocks at the museum. It was a lightbulb moment.
P.S. I just read that Eric Carle passed away in Sunday
I am so sad!!
Building with blocks is so important, Jennie. Even if they have no interest in architecture, the fact that they learn that big things can be made from smaller things is critical to so many of the things they might want to do some day. I’m glad you expose them to building and nature.
Well said, Dan. There is much more than architecture that happens with block building. No wonder Legos are so popular.
Your children are fortunate to have teachers and a classroom that fosters creativity and a close relationship with the natural world.
Thank you, Alethea!
You’re welcome 🙂
This reminded me of the Simon & Garfunkle song ‘So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright’
“Architects may come, and architects may go
And never change your point of view
When I run dry
I’ll stop awhile and think of you”
wonderful post Jennie.
I’m a Simon and Garfunkel fan, yet I don’t know the song. Thank you, FR!
It’s a lovely one, it’s on YouTube 😊
Reblogged this on Love & Love Alone.
I think he would be proud of you, their nurturer.
Hurrah for all that you do and share with these smaller human beings!!!
Thank you, Will!
I spent many hours playing with my blocks. Still have them.
You still do? Wow! That’s terrific.
I love that the simple building blocks are the children’s favorite items in the classroom. Here’s to the power of children’s imaginative play!
I think he’d love your classroom and what you’re teaching your kids.
That’s so nice, Deborah. Thank you. 🥰
You’re welcome! 🥰
I find it cool that the little ones favor the wood blocks over the plastic. Must be so much fun watching them create.
I feel the same way. Some things never change, like children gravitating to what they can use to be creative, wood blocks. Honestly, watching them build huge complex structures out of simple blocks always amazes me. It is fun!
There’s a great children’s museum here in Terre Haute that engages kids beautifully.
I’m so glad to know that. Thanks, John.
Creativity starts when children are very young and given tools. Antoni Gaudi also loved nature as a child and his creations reflect that early love. You do a great job of giving children the tools they need. xo
I did not know that about Gaudi. Yes, it all starts when they’re young. Thank you, Darlene.
Yes, he would Jennie
This. This is everything!
Nature–the great learning field for kids of all ages! ❤ We're all life-long learners… xo
Well said, Bette! 💕
Another post right on the money, Jennie. I had various types of building blocks in my classroom. When rainy day recesses happened, I always had a fair amount of boys and a few girls (even in 3rd grade) who still liked to build and use their imaginations to create the most elaborate structures.
That’s wonderful! Thank you, Pete.
Nature and building are both great things.
Yes! Very much so.
You are educating future scientists, Jennie! 🙂 Its understandable they are loving the wooden blocks more than Lego. The blocks allow them to be more creative, without paying attention to the knobs. 😉 Have a beautiful weekend, and enjoy the sun we hopefully will also get soon. 😉 Michael
You are exactly right, Michael. Those blocks inspire more,creativity than any other toy. Many thanks for your kind words. Enjoy the weekend. It was 90 last week, and now it’s 50 and pouring rain.
Thank you very much, Jennie Wow! With these weather conditions you could get a rain forest soon. Lol :-)) xx Michael
I think he would, Jennie. Lovely post.
Thank you, Norah. 🥰