Do you have any Mega Bloks around the house? If your kids enjoy building with these large construction bricks, you’ve got a learning manipulative ready to use. They are such a fun tool to integrate into your homeschool. You can use them for math and language arts. I’m sure you can brainstorm ways to us them in your other subjects as well.
Here are a few reasons why these building blocks work so well for learning. They are:
- Customizable – you can use dry erase markers to make them say anything you want
- Age appropriate – if you have younger learners, these are perfect for their small hands to move around
- Fun – learning is so much better when it’s enjoyable
- Colorful – school doesn’t have to be boring
- Stackable – you can stack different bricks on top of each other
Are you ready to use Mega Bloks in your homeschool? Before we dive into the activities, let’s look quickly at how to turn these bricks into manipulatives.
But first, if you don’t have any Mega Bloks, here’s where you can get some on Amazon. They don’t cost a lot of money, and they’ll be a fun addition to your homeschool and for free play. (Affiliate link.)
1. Get What You Need
You won’t need much to turn your blocks into learning tools. But, the supplies you need are essential. You’ll need to round up:
- Mega Bloks (go for a variety of sizes and colors)
- A dry erase marker (or a couple)
- Something to erase with (I prefer baby wipes, but you can use a cloth instead)
Of course, you’ll want to do a test run on your Mega Bloks, just to make sure the marker comes off easily. It did on mine, but I don’t want you to find out your marker doesn’t erase or anything, so test on one before moving on.
2. Pick a Subject
Are you going to start with math or language arts? Here are a few ways to use them for each of those subjects:
- Recognizing numerals
- Place value
- Addition and subtraction sentences
- Letter identification
- Capital and lower-case matching
- Decoding words
- Simple spelling
- Reading sight words
- Reading word families and making new words for them
- Recognizing letters in name
- Real and nonsense words
Did anything on these lists catch your eye as something you’d like your child to work on? If yes, it’s time to prepare your blocks. There will be details for that below. You can do the writing, or you can have your child do it. You get to pick what works best for your family.
Get the Mega Bloks Ready
What do you need on the blocks so your child can learn the skill you want to teach? Letters? Numbers? Math symbols?
Mega Bloks are perfect, as you can use each bump to write one thing. Simply use your marker, and write what you want. Then, your child can arrange the blocks to put the parts together.
If you’re going to use blocks with multiple bumps, you can write a single letter on each. You can create words this way, and let your child practice sounding them out. Or you can write a math sentence and have your child find the single prong that has the right number.
Once you have the prepared blocks, it’s time to play.
Enjoy the Mega Bloks
Now that you have your materials set, it’s time for some fun. Here are a few of the ways my kids enjoy using Mega Bloks in our homeschool:
Hunt and Find
I ask my kids to step out of the room, while I hide all the prepared Mega Bloks. Then, I call them back in. They start searching around the room. When they find a block, the bring it over to the table and organize it before they set out to find another. If they’re finding the ABCs, they put the blocks in ABC order on the table as they find them. If they’re reading words, they try to make the words into a sentence.
You can also just have your child call out what they found and set it down. Then they can keep looking. Repeat until all the blocks are found.
Stack and Read
For this game, I write letters on the single bumped bricks. Then, I ask my kids to combine them to spell words. They look through the blocks to find the one they need. Then they build, from teh top down. So if they’re building the word CAT, it’d be C on top, A in the middle, and T on the bottom. You can also just have them set them side by side if you prefer, but my kids enjoy building with them.
Have your child read the word aloud before moving on to make a new one.
How many words can they make in 5 or 10 minutes? Let them try for a record!
Build a Pen
For this game, you’ll need several single bumped blocks. Each one should have a letter or a number on it.
Ask your child to use the blocks to build a pen to put a toy animal in. But, they can only put the blocks down in the right order. So A must be next to B, or 3 must be next to 4. Then, give them some creative build time to finish their pen or build a gate with the extra Mega Bloks.
After giving my children the blocks with numbers on them, I ask them to build a pen or a wall. They must ensure the numbers are in order when read. So, they’d place one next to two as they build. You can do this with letters as well.
If you’re looking for a quick way to practice word families or rhyming words, this is a fun game. You write a word family on a two bumped brick (one letter on each bump.) Then, you write some single letters on the blocks with only one.
Your child grabs a single block and puts it next to the word family double. Then, they sound it out and read it. Once they succeed, they set the single brick to the side and grab another. Can they read all of the words you created? Are there any nonsense words in there like Zeg?
Sort by Categories
You can let your child sort the blocks into categories. Then you can guess how they sorted them. Here are a few ways to sort:
You can also have your child write something on each block to sort it. Then you can do this game several more ways. Here are a few ideas:
- Capital or lower case letters
- Numbers or letters
- Shapes (draw circles or stars)
- Letters in child’s name and the letters not in their name
- Pictures of things that start with A and pictures of things that start with B
The possibilities are endless so just use your imagination!
Simple to Clean Up
As an added bonus, using Mega Bloks in your homeschool is simple to clean up. You just need to use a baby wipe to wash all of the blocks. Then you can store them like normal.
If you don’t take the marker off right when you’re done, you’re more likely to be able to still see it a few days later. So do this step each time you play.
Do you have any more ideas for using Mega Bloks in your homeschool? Please share in the comments.