The Art Of Block Building

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The Art Of Block Building, by Harriet Merrill Johnson, was published in 1933. Johnson’s early block play observations influenced later researchers. According to Jeroen Starling and Jerry Aldridge:

Johnson should be credited for teaching early childhood educators that the “focus on blocks and block building [is] part of a more encompassing concern with providing a physical environment geared to the child‟s state of development and optimized to promote intellectual and social growth” (Franklin, 2000, p. 52).

From Nursing to Nursery School: The Life and Works of Harriet M. Johnson from 1900-19341

The Art Of Block Building is currently in the public domain. We’ve provided a PDF version below made from a scan of the book. Please note that there are some imperfections in the illustrations due to the scanning process and age of the original document.



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Jeff is an early learning speaker, toymaker, podcaster, content creator, author, and founder of Playvolution HQ who is really bad at getting his picture taken.


  1. Staring, Jeroen & Aldridge, Jerry. (2015). From Nursing to Nursery School: The Life and Works of Harriet M. Johnson from 1900-1934. SSRN Electronic Journal. 4. 10.2139/ssrn.3399359.

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