BLOCK Fest®: Where fun and learning come together

blockfest-homepage-portraitMath, science, blocks and fun! Engage with your child at a BLOCK Fest® near you and learn how to build a strong foundation in math and science for years to come.

Designed for children 8 months to 8 years old and their families, BLOCK Fest® is a fun-filled, hands-on event. Over the course of an hour, children and their caregivers interact with five varieties of non-interlocking blocks and learn how to support this type of play at home.

Children and parents love BLOCK Fest®. One parent remarked, “I did not realize all the learning involved with blocks! It will really help my 2-year-old with counting and colors!” Another parent stated that it was “very beneficial and a great way to interact with your child and for your child to interact with others.”

BLOCK Fest® organizer Colleen Russell agrees. “The children are always delighted with the blocks. Caregivers walk away knowing not only how important block play can be for their child’s development, but also how to engage in that play in ways that continue to stimulate learning at home.

“Research completed at the University of Idaho shows that playing with non-interlocking blocks at a young age over time increases math assessment scores in middle and high school,” explains Russell. “We wanted children and families in our communities to have the opportunity to learn how to engage in this type of play from the earliest ages.”

BLOCK Fest® events are scheduled across northern Illinois and are currently free to participants. Registration is required and is usually accommodated through the host site.

· Sept. 17, 10 -11 a.m. at Genoa Library, 232 W. Main St., Genoa, IL (register with Jennifer Barton at 815-784-2627 or [email protected])

· Oct. 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on an hourly rotation during STEMfest at NIU’s Convocation Center (register on site)

· Oct. 21, 10:30 -11:30 a.m. at DeKalb Public Library, 309 Oak St., DeKalb, IL (register with the library)

· Dec. 2, 10:30-11:30 a.m. at 4-C: Community Coordinated Child Care, 155 N. Third St., Suite 300, DeKalb, IL (register with 4-C)

Northern Illinois University’s Center for P-20 Engagement is currently the only provider of BLOCK Fest® in Illinois. We are always looking for host sites. If your organization is interested in hosting an event, you will need to secure a 40’ by 60’ space, publicize the event and recruit volunteers. For more information, contact Colleen Russell at [email protected]

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