Exploring the Magical Seventh Side of Uncle Goose Blocks
You might think that there are six sides to every Uncle Goose block. And technically, you are correct. Cubes have six sides.
But what if we go a little deeper? If you look closely at the blocks, you’ll see and feel the embossing. Within that embossing, you’ll see even more sides. Magic!
And what if you look outside the blocks? The blocks create shadows. So you might say that blocks have a shadowy side, as well. More magic!
Let’s explore that seventh side of blocks: the magical impressions they make. Here are four ways to use blocks to explore the world of illusions and impressions:
1. Go Ahead and Play With Clay
Take a block and s-q-u-o-o-s-h the embossed side of a block into Silly Putty or Play-Doh. We love that oozy feeling. It really shouldn’t feel so good, but it does!
Some customers wonder if clays like these might stick to the blocks or get gummed up in the embossing. But they don’t. Clays and blocks play nicely together.
And children love seeing the clear, clean imprint blocks leave behind. No mess.
Both children and adults also love to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the clay to distort the imprint. And then, of course, to do it again and again. And again.
2. Try Crayon and Pencil Rubbings
Take a sheet of paper and place it over the embossed side of a block. Now, take a crayon and rub it over the paper.
Do you like the impression you see? What happens if you press too hard? What happens if you don’t press hard enough? What if you use different colors?
Which works best: crayons or colored pencils? We’ll leave it to you to explore and find out!
3. Explore Shadows and Light
Build a structure with blocks on a large sheet of paper. Shine a bright light on it. Can you trace the shadow?
Will you need to bring out a ruler to help to draw straight lines? How long are the lines you drew? If you put the light in another place, how will the shadow directions and lengths change?
Hmm. Now what if you drew and measured those, too? And then brought out more crayons to color what you drew? Are you learning to be an artist or an engineer? Or both?
4. Take a Picture of Your Creations
Now that you’ve explored light and color, how might that knowledge make an impact on the photos you take? Do you like bright lights and harsh shadows when you photograph your block creations?
Or do you prefer softer shadows? How might you achieve a soft shadow yet still keep the objects you photograph well-lit? How can you create more shadows?
Uncle Goose blocks are fun physical objects with six sides. And don’t forget to explore their magical seventh side: the impressions they make!