Why Block Play?
- Two decades of research show that children build number and math skills from a very early age, and that those who are strong in early math skills excel in math in the later years.
- Research shows that children’s block play is related to later math competence. Block play also provides a natural context for exploring the physical world.
- Block play supports other aspects of development, including language as children talk about their structures with the adults and children around them.
- Blocks also provide opportunities for children’s social and emotional development as they build and share with others. In addition, children are challenged cognitively as they solve the problems that arise in the construction process.
Why is it important for companies, organizations and communities to engage in BLOCK Fest® activities?
When business, industry and citizens invest in early math and science learning opportunities like BLOCK Fest®, they are supporting the academic success of our children from the very beginning of their formal school career. A community that works to build math and science thinkers will benefit from a growing workforce of scientists, mathematicians, architects, and engineers able to compete in a global economy. (Friedman, 2004).
American’s economic growth is fueled by continuing innovation in science and technology. Raising a generation equipped with math and science skills needed to compete in this business environment is a key challenge. Research suggests that early mathematical experiences play an enormous role in the development of a child’s understanding of mathematics, serve as a foundation for their cognitive development, and can predict mathematics success at the high school level (Wolfgang, Stannard and Jones, 2001).
Who hosts BLOCK Fest® Events?
- Parents as Teachers Programs
- Head Start and Early Childhood Programs
- Youth Programs (School break activity)
- STEAM Driven Orginizations
How does a BLOCK Fest® exhibit work?
- The BLOCK Fest® exhibit consists of 5 unique block stations.
- Parents and children spend 10 minutes playing at each block station. An emcee directs rotate times to clean up and move to the next block station. The entire time in the exhibit is 1 hour.
- Information about child development and how children learn math and science concepts are offered at each station by facilitators and by reading informational exhibit pieces.
- Facilitators at each station help guide activities that direct play and conversation that promotes learning.
- A take-home booklet – “Playing and Learning with BLOCKS!” – (written by BLOCK Fest® developers) is available for purchase.
How do I become a Licensed BLOCK Fest® site?
Purchasing a Sublicense to operate BLOCK Fest® is the first step in bringing BLOCK Fest® to your community. A Sublicense can be purchased from the Twiga Foundation along with signing a Sublicense Agreement, which outlines the requirements of implementing BLOCK Fest®. Contact Twiga Foundation at (208) 343-1551 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to procure a Sublicense.
Why do I need a License?
BLOCK Fest® was created by employees of the University of Idaho and is therefore the intellectual property of the University of Idaho. In 2009, the University partnered with Twiga Foundation, Inc. to be the exclusive licensor to publish and distribute BLOCK Fest®. As part of the agreement, Twiga is required to execute Sublicense Agreements and Licenses with all organizations implementing BLOCK Fest® and to insure that BLOCK Fest® is implemented with model fidelity and within the guidelines of the trademark.
Do I need to purchase a BLOCK Fest® exhibit?
Twiga Foundation has worked with vendors to provide a standard block package, educational signs and banners, custom storage/carrying bags and educational materials. This makes it very simple to place one order with Twiga for all the materials rather than researching and hunting for all the numerous components. This is one-stop shopping at its best. Our order form is easy to navigate.
What does a BLOCK Fest® exhibit include?
Twiga Foundation has worked with vendors to provide a standard block package, educational signs and banners, custom storage/carrying bags and educational materials. This makes it very simple to place one order with Twiga for all the materials rather than researching and hunting for all the numerous components. This is one-stop shopping at its best. Exhibit Package Component List
Do I need to attend training?
All BLOCK Fest® events must be conducted by a trained Host. This is to ensure that BLOCK Fest® events are conducted as an educational experience for parents and children and not just a play time. Training is necessary to understand how to implement an event (set-up & disassemble), role responsibility, and how assist volunteers. The training provides the math research background and tools to facilitate parent and child engagement. This is a wonderful opportunity for parent and child bonding while they play.
What is a BLOCK Fest® Host?
A BLOCK Fest® Host is an individual that has completed the BLOCK Fest® Host Training. Once trained you can facilitated a BLOCK Fest® event under the guidance of a BLOCK Fest® Certified Host and conduct training for your event volunteers. You will also receive a BLOCK Fest® Host Certificate and access to the BLOCK Fest® Host Page.
What is a BLOCK Fest® Certified Host?
A BLOCK Fest® Certified Host is an individual that has completed the BLOCK Fest® Host Training and conducted 3 BLOCK Fest® events under the guidance of a BLOCK Fest® Certified Host. Once you have met the certification requirements of 3 events and reported the Event Summaries for each event to Twiga, you will receive a Certified Host Certificate.