iPhoneOgraphy – 05 May 2016 (Day 126/366)
A Unit block (also toy block, building bricks, building blocks, or simply blocks) are wooden, plastic or foam pieces of various shapes (square, cylinder, arch, triangle, etc.) and colors that are used as construction toys. Sometimes toy blocks depict letters of the alphabet.
A unit block is a type of standardized wooden toy block for children. Known also as standard unit blocks or kindergarten blocks, these building blocks are common in preschools and some kindergarten classrooms in the United States.
The unit block principle was popularized by educator Caroline Pratt in the early 1900s. Pratt based her blocks on a similar but larger-scale block system designed by educator Patty Hill, a follower of Friedrich Fröbel, the originator of kindergarten education. Fröbel’s series of 20 age-calibrated educational “gifts” had included a set of eight blocks, sized ½ by 1 by 2 inches, or a 1:2:4 ratio, which could be formed into a cube. She founded the City and Country School in 1914 in New York City. In the 1970s, under license from the school, a version of the blocks was sold by a company called Childcraft.