5 Ways to Play With Rainbow Stackers
Rainbow stackers are beautiful, engaging, and hold endless play possibilities. Arches are a valuable addition to any building collection, as they provide important variety from more typical straight-sided blocks. Children of all ages will enjoy experimenting with pieces of various sizes, weights, and colors.
Before introducing one of these items as a “rainbow” ask your child what they notice about it. Take turns sharing observations about the size, shape, color, and feel of the different pieces. Without prompting, wait and see how your child naturally incorporates the stackers into his or her play. When he or she is ready for something new, try out one of these play tips!
Experiment with Balance
Wonder aloud if the arches can be stacked on top of one another. Invite your child to test out different pairings - can the yellow piece balance on the blue piece? How would you make a tower using all of the colors? For an even greater challenge, turn the pieces so the curved edges are on the ground. With your child, observe how they rock back and forth. Invite your child to consider why the base is less stable and more mobile this way.
Create Tunnels and Terrain
Add cars, trucks, and other transportation toys into the play space. Encourage your child to create a driving environment using the stackers. Which vehicles can drive over the arches? Which fit under the arches? Observe the way your child chooses to create and incorporate terrain elements into their play. Enrich the experience by asking questions that prompt storytelling: Where is the blue car going? Who is building that tunnel? What is beyond the yellow hill?
Practice big body play! Gather different balls from around the house and wonder aloud if the stacking arches could be used to create goals. Ask your child how they would like to play. They may suggest something familiar like soccer, or want to create their own entirely new game. Either way, discuss how to arrange the play space to best suit the chosen game. Be mindful to establish boundaries and clarify rules early on, and ensure that the game will be manageable and fun for everyone involved.
No. 4 - Arch Exploration
With your child, discuss what an “arch” actually is. How are they similar to or different from other shapes? Where has your child seen arches before? Then, get outside! Go for an exploratory walk and search for arches in your neighborhood. If your child is engaged, consider documenting your findings through photos or drawings, and creating a record book of the shapes that were discovered.
Play With Faces
Hold the arch so it creates a “U” shape and notice that it looks like a smile. Wonder aloud what you could use to turn the arch into a face. With your child, gather household objects to use as eyes, noses, ears, and other facial elements. Combine them with the arches and practice creating different expressions. Ask your child how each face might be feeling? How can they tell? Take the opportunity to talk about different emotions and why and when we feel them. Consider leaving the space set up and try using the play foundation as a tool; when your child is having big emotions, ask them to show you how they are feeling using the blocks. This will encourage self-reflection, and allow your child to express themself in a way that feels playful and safe.
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