Designing With Blocks

Match shapes to fill in a puzzle.

  • Target Age:  3-6 
  • Learning Goals:  Planning; Engineering; Measurement
  • Related Episodes: Episode 4276: The Flood


  • Large construction paper
  • Small blocks of different shapes
  • Pencil


  1. Place small blocks of different shapes on a large piece of construction paper to make a picture.
  2. With a pencil, trace an outline around each shape and then remove the blocks.
  3. Give the construction paper to your child and have her create the same design with the blocks, using your picture as a blueprint.
  4. Ask your child how the blue print was helpful and why she thinks blue prints are helpful when building structures.
  5. Create another blueprint using more blocks and do the activity again

Talk About It

Talk about the importance of planning a design before you engineer it. Walk around your neighborhood and point out places that needed blueprints such as buildings, bridges, and playgrounds.

Take It Further

The next time your child is playing with blocks, encourage her to draw a picture of her plan before she builds. After she has created a blueprint, use it as a guide to make a structure. When the structure is complete, compare it to the blueprint to see what is the same and what is different.


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