Hello! I’m Carolyn, the founder of Kids Build Together, a mother and an educator born and bred in the Hawkesbury. I’ve spent many years travelling the world and working with children with disabilities and their families. Creating a home in the Hawkesbury where children could learn in a supportive space has been a long-held dream.
Kids Build Together
There are many ways to learn, but Kids Build Together is based on the idea (called Constructionism, by a mathematician Papert who worked with Piaget) which says – People learn best when they’re making meaningful things to share with others. And this is especially true of children.
Learning by Making is about valuing the process of making (a sculpture, a dance, a story); about learning how to do things, not just facts about things. Dancing is learning the different ways a body can move and how to listen to a beat. Playing an instrument is about making a sound. Building with blocks is about making a story, making a world, making things balance and fit.
One of the key idea of Constructionism (learning by making) is that people learn best when sharing with others. It’s great to make something by yourself, but it’s even better to share with others – you learn so much more through the interaction.
This is why I’ve decided to create my own Learning by Making space in the Hawkesbury. It’s a place for kids 0-7 and their families to come and build blocks together, a quiet, air-conditioned space in Richmond where children can come together and make things, from train stations to a mermaid castle to ice cream shops. There’s no need for appointments, and there’s no charge for carers or siblings under two – just a space which has been created for playing and sharing.
I’d love to see you there.
Blocks are fun.
Blocks are accessible tools for very young kids, for kids with disabilities, for older kids, for adults. They’re flexible and open-ended.
Block play is great for language development, maths development, social interaction and creativity.
Block play is used with children with autism spectrum disorders as a way to enhance social skills and flexibility; it’s used with gifted children to promote creativity and spatial thinking.
Children who play with blocks regularly show better language development, especially around maths concepts such as direction and movement, and also show impressive working memory skills. You need to remember just where that bottom block is to be able to balance the one up the top!
But I’ve Got Blocks at Home!
Blocks – especially Duplo sets – can be expensive to purchase and difficult to store. We have a wide range of special sets and a lot of individual blocks too.
One of the great pleasures of block play is building together – and it’s one of the benefits too. Designing, discussing and problem-solving, and playing with the figures once you’ve set it up is a lot more fun with other kids around.
And having an air-conditioned play space in the Hawkesbury where kids and families can meet is just what’s needed!