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Block Play: It's Not Just for Boys Anymore

ITEM #: 4400220

What's In This Kit?
This training kit provides teachers with strategies for promoting mixed-gender play in the block area. This training program contains the following components:

  • Expected training outcomes and learning objectives
  • Training research, models, benchmarks
  • Preparation and implementation steps
  • Handouts
  • The article “Block play: It’s not just for boys anymore” by Barb Tokarz
  • References and resources
  • Training Certificate for Learner �" Certificate of Attendance and Participation

Who's the Target Audience?
The target audiences for this training kit are beginning and intermediate Learners who are working with preschoolers (3-5 years). This kit is designed to help participants observe gender participation during block play and to encourage mixed-gender play options in the early childhood classroom’s block center.

Teacher Skill Level
beginning intermediate advanced
Children's Age Level
infants toddlers preschoolers school-agers birth to 8

Kit Timeline:
Preparation time for this kit is estimated at 1.5 hours. Implementation and actual training time is 5.0 hours, which includes 2.5 hours of face-to-face training and 2.5 hours of independent study and an action research project.

Training Outcomes:

  1. Learner will define nature-deficit disorder and list one way to remedy this disorder.
  2. Learner will document incidents of gender participation and styles of play observed in block play using time sampling.
  3. Learner will describe at least 2 characteristics of play styles for both boys and girls.
  4. Learner will describe at least 2 ways to change the block center and/or involve children in new experiences that will promote mixed-gender play choices.

These training outcomes address the following:

  • National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) Standards and Accreditation Performance Criteria (2005). www.naeyc.org.
    - Using developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging environments (1c).
    - Knowing about and using observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches (5b).
  • Head Start Performance Standards (Federal Register, Nov. 5, 1-6, Volume 6), Number 215). www.acf.hhs. gov/programs/ohs/.
    - Progresses in understanding similarities and respecting differences among people, such as genders, race, special needs, culture, language, and family structures.
  • National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs, National Association of Child Care Professionals (2005). www.naccp.org .
    - Written observations are made on each child’s actions, abilities, and knowledge as the child engages in the classroom and in routine outdoor settings (D2).
    - The arrangement of the classroom encourages children to become engaged and promotes childcentered learning experiences.

Note: It is important to determine any additional state and local standards that relate to this topic or requirements of other regulatory bodies specific to your program.

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