Ages 6 – 10: The Art of the Block

Eli Whitney Museum

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Vacation Program

  • Tuesday, November 11, 2014
  • 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Designed for ages 6 to 10

MAKE because…*

A.C. Gilbert began making toys in New Haven 100 years ago just as Europe stumbled into the conflict we now call World War I. On November 11th, Veterans celebrate the end of that war.

In 1916, German toys could not longer be sold in America. Gilbert bought the Richter Anchor Stone Building Sets, the American division of the company that was closed during the war. These lovely blocks taught a very careful way of learning.

Assemble a set of blocks** modeled precisely (an important word) on the classic German blocks. Paint them (the color is important.) Construct a box that the blocks fill neatly.

Then learn to read and create classic designs. Which will then prepare you to invent your own designs. Plenty of free build will follow.

*MAKE because…* Learn to read patterns! The Anchor system was based on the work of Friedrich Fröebel, one of the inventors of modern education. Yes, he taught from patterns, but he knew that required decoding, another workd for reading. And he understood the power of learning with all the senses. Pattern reading was essential to the Erector Set's success.

**Our blocks are composite wood, not composite stone.

Instructors: Annalise Phillips, Kiran Zaman

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