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92Y Blog
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Building Brain Power With Building Blocks!

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The New York Times reporter Kyle Spencer recently took a closer look at the rising popularity of “unit blocks — those basic, indestructible wooden toys created in the early 1900s,” in New York City’s early education schools. Spencer spoke with 92nd Street Y’s Fretta Reitzes, an expert in parenting and early childhood education. “Ms. Reitzes,” wrote the Times, “said many educators were embracing blocks as an antidote to fine-motor-skill deficits and difficulty with unstructured activity, problems that they blame on too much time in front of screens and overly academic preschools.”

Fretta Reitzes also runs the 92Y Wonderplay™ Early Childhood Learning Conference every November. This year’s block workshop was so popular, she told Spencer, that she added a second one. “What we’re seeing,” she said, “is teachers really caught between these very prescriptive curriculums and their desire to give kids opportunities to explore.” Watch this year’s completed Wonderplay™ conference online, for free.

Related: Mark your calendars for February 4, the first in a series of FREE Parenting with Soul Conversations, with Alexandra Barzvi Silber, Ph. D and Stephanie B. Levey, Ph. D.

[92Y Parenting & Family]

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