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Community Playthings Blocks


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Now, here's the thing:

A few years ago I was teaching in reception and had huge obsession about getting a set of community playthings hollow blocks for our foundation stage classes. Headteacher said they cost too much - I explained how they were great value for money, would last forever, would be used constantly for all areas of the curriculum etc, she said that they were basically too expensive, which I understand.

Anyway, then I had a baby, moved schools, taught as a jobshare in KS1 and put the community block obsession behind me. :(

Now I'm back in reception, but a different school, have joined this forum where everyone talks about how wonderful they are... the obsession has returned!! :o

 

The thing is, I imagine I'll get a very similar response from my new head if I ask her for the blocks - does anyone have any cunning ideas as to where I might get the money from? I wondered if there might be any grants or anything, or if someone knows more than me (which is practically zero) about the vagaries of school budgets and the different pots for different things and some clever way I could access all that cash without suggesting it all comes from the Early Years budget....? It sounds a little far fetched but I'm desperate!

 

How did you all get yours? And did you go for the school set, the half school set, the pre-school set or the half pre-school set? Would I be able to get really good quality play from smaller than the school set?

 

Please help me, I'm going a little crazy! xD

 

thanks! :(

 

Emma

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Hi emmajess

We have just moved into a new family centre and the centre has provided us with a set of these blocks complete with storage cart. The children absolutely love them.

Maybe your PA could start fundraising as hali said. They may be expensive but I think they are worth it.

Good luck.

 

Sally

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Try your LEA, ours has just announced a large amount of money is available for the EYFS, to buy new toys and equipment, buildings, gardens etc!!

 

I got mine from a friend who worked in a school, and she phoned me to ask if i'd like 'some blocks' for my children, because the school caretaker was burning them in the schools furnace because he was fed up tidying them away.I said yes, turned up to collect...............and it was a whole load of Community Playthings blocks, in a three drawer trolley, with a large number of hollow blocks as well!! I still can't believe my luck..and i've owned them for many years now, through my own children, through my old playgroup, and now in my new setting.Also, keep an eye out on ebay, they do sometimes come up on there.

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The thing is, I imagine I'll get a very similar response from my new head if I ask her for the blocks - does anyone have any cunning ideas as to where I might get the money from? I wondered if there might be any grants or anything, or if someone knows more than me (which is practically zero) about the vagaries of school budgets and the different pots for different things and some clever way I could access all that cash without suggesting it all comes from the Early Years budget....? It sounds a little far fetched but I'm desperate!

Emma - I suggest you point your Head in this direction, get her to read all these posts (which I think are the best advertising Community Playthings could ask for!) and tell her that if I worked out the cost per child, per hour of fantastic play we've had out of our blocks (had them since September) it would work out at a minus figure. :o

 

We fundraised - the usual pre-school stuff (photos, calendars etc) and raised about half the cost. We got a nursery set and cart, and I'm going to buy the larger set for outdoor play, with cart if I can afford it.

 

Maz

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Try your LEA, ours has just announced a large amount of money is available for the EYFS, to buy new toys and equipment, buildings, gardens etc!!

 

I got mine from a friend who worked in a school, and she phoned me to ask if i'd like 'some blocks' for my children, because the school caretaker was burning them in the schools furnace because he was fed up tidying them away.I said yes, turned up to collect...............and it was a whole load of Community Playthings blocks, in a three drawer trolley, with a large number of hollow blocks as well!! I still can't believe my luck..and i've owned them for many years now, through my own children, through my old playgroup, and now in my new setting.Also, keep an eye out on ebay, they do sometimes come up on there.

 

 

Snap...... that's how we got ours too!!!!!!!!!

 

xxx

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Try your LEA, ours has just announced a large amount of money is available for the EYFS, to buy new toys and equipment, buildings, gardens etc!!

 

I got mine from a friend who worked in a school, and she phoned me to ask if i'd like 'some blocks' for my children, because the school caretaker was burning them in the schools furnace because he was fed up tidying them away.I said yes, turned up to collect...............and it was a whole load of Community Playthings blocks, in a three drawer trolley, with a large number of hollow blocks as well!! I still can't believe my luck..and i've owned them for many years now, through my own children, through my old playgroup, and now in my new setting.Also, keep an eye out on ebay, they do sometimes come up on there.

 

 

I can't believe your luck either! And Louby Lou! I'll keep an eye out on skips by schools and nurseries from now on! :(

 

Ebay's a good idea - I'll keep looking.

 

The fundraising thing I'm a bit unsure about as it seems that it'd be the current children raising the money for children in the future - we wouldn't raise it quickly enough for them to reap the benefits. But maybe that's not a problem - if they're just raising money for reception in general...

 

And I'll go to the LEA, too - thanks for all your ideas.

It sounds like I maybe don't need the most enormous school set that takes two carts just for one class, so that'll help. And I'll show all your posts to my head, Happy Maz - good idea! :o (Maybe Community playthings should have an advert link to this forum on their site???!) xD

 

Emma

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Guest Miss Molly

Hi! I have been very lucky and my head actually ordered 2 trolleys and LOADS or hollow blocks for our 2 reception classes. I am aware that they are a fantastic resource but wondering if you could lead me in the right direction in terms of using them most effectively across the curriculum? What ideas do you have? Thanks so much. I understand I need to appreciate them considering the price!!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi! I have been very lucky and my head actually ordered 2 trolleys and LOADS or hollow blocks for our 2 reception classes. I am aware that they are a fantastic resource but wondering if you could lead me in the right direction in terms of using them most effectively across the curriculum? What ideas do you have? Thanks so much. I understand I need to appreciate them considering the price!!!!

 

 

Loads of personal and Social development and language for thinking and communication- just observe them playing, talking, negotiating and deciding. Also (obviously) KUW designing and making - adapting their ideas, deciding how best to construct what they are wanting to build; CLL story stuff and Creative (imaginative play)- using them to set up role play structures - boats, houses, castles...;Maths - the community playthings website says that the size of the blocks all relate to one another eg the different sizes are twice as big as the one before - so they are created in a way to support numeracy, not too mention measuring, counting, shape and space. Physical development also links.

They just seem to me to be the best value resource that you could use in so many ways for any number of topics in all curriculum areas - if you're wanting more specific ideas, let me know - I can get a bit over excited about these blocks, so i'm your girl! Wish I had some...

 

Emma

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P.S. Was there any particular reason your head bought them that I could mention to my head...? Any particular funding or school development priority that might influence her? Thank you!!

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Tell your head what a fantastic resource thay are for developing problem solving skills. It seems to be the new buzz term and heads want the children to be able to do it! They really do do it too. I have observed problem solving going on every time the children use them.

Womble

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Snap...... that's how we got ours too!!!!!!!!!

 

xxx

 

 

Maybe some inservice training for school caretakers on the benefits and expense of the blocks is needed too. :oxD

 

Peggy

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found this alternative on ebay, prices look very competative.

 

HERE

 

AND THESE ARE SIMILAR TO ONES i USED TO USE IN MY PRESCHOOL

 

HERE

 

Happy building, I hope you get what you want and your obsession is quenched. :o

 

Peggy

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When churches etc want to build new buildings people sponser a brick??? Is there any mileage in that with local companies, governors, parents.Work out which set you'd like and break down the costs Sponser 1 small brick-£1, medium brick- £3 'special shaped brick £8. You could have a display with the outlines of the bricks and colour one in and put the sponsorers name on when the contribution is made. or would your head match any fund raising you do like for like?

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When churches etc want to build new buildings people sponser a brick??? Is there any mileage in that with local companies, governors, parents.Work out which set you'd like and break down the costs Sponser 1 small brick-£1, medium brick- £3 'special shaped brick £8. You could have a display with the outlines of the bricks and colour one in and put the sponsorers name on when the contribution is made. or would your head match any fund raising you do like for like?

 

That's a genius idea!! xD

 

And Peggy thanks for helping ease the obsession! :o

 

People are great on here! :(

 

Emma

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Biccy, what an excellent idea!! :o

 

I have just emailed it to committee and had an excellent response. I will spend the day drafting a letter to parents/companies in the local area!! Hopefully we will get a positive response and we will be able to buy some.

 

Thought about raising half the money this way and buying the rest with some of the outdoor budget to pay for the other half!!!

 

I would like to award Biccy with the POW award this week! (Post Of the Week) xD:(

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Biccy, what an excellent idea!! :o

 

I have just emailed it to committee and had an excellent response. I will spend the day drafting a letter to parents/companies in the local area!! Hopefully we will get a positive response and we will be able to buy some.

 

Thought about raising half the money this way and buying the rest with some of the outdoor budget to pay for the other half!!!

 

I would like to award Biccy with the POW award this week! (Post Of the Week) :(:(

 

Shiny, can I be super cheeky? :wacko: I'm having trouble knowing what to write to companies following biccy's suggestion -it's such a good idea that I don't want to get it wrong! I wondered if you might possibly post a copy of your letter on here? I could give it my best shot too and share mine if you wanted. I've never gone after any funding or anything before, so I'm a bit unsure.

No worries if you can't. :(

I second your award of P.O.W. to Biccy! xD

 

Emma

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Im pretty sure in last weeks nursery world there were some suppliers leaflets, one of them had the blocks in them identical to Community playthings however I doubt not the same quality, but they were very reasonable I will try and find the leaflet today

 

sharon

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Shiny, can I be super cheeky? :( I'm having trouble knowing what to write to companies following biccy's suggestion -it's such a good idea that I don't want to get it wrong! I wondered if you might possibly post a copy of your letter on here? I could give it my best shot too and share mine if you wanted. I've never gone after any funding or anything before, so I'm a bit unsure.

No worries if you can't. xD

I second your award of P.O.W. to Biccy! :o

 

Emma

 

I will post my letter once I am happy with it/have had committee approval to send it!! It won't be until next week at the earliest but will get back to you!!

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I will post my letter once I am happy with it/have had committee approval to send it!! It won't be until next week at the earliest but will get back to you!!

 

Thanks shiny - you are a shiny angel! xD

I spoke to my head about it today and she offered me the money from the school sponsored bike ride! So I might be getting there! :o

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I will post my letter once I am happy with it/have had committee approval to send it!! It won't be until next week at the earliest but will get back to you!!

 

Thanks shiny - you are a shiny angel! xD

I spoke to my head about it today and she offered me the money from the school sponsored bike ride! So I might be getting there! :o

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