Diane Kashin

Early childhood educator, author, retired professor



Blocks, Blocks and More: Why Wood?


The session will feature the importance of block play in relationship to learning and development. Blocks will be considered from a historical and theoretical perspective and the relevance for today’s child will be the focus. During the workshop component of the session, we will play with all types of blocks and loose parts that support learning in the indoor and outdoor environment. We will consider the affordances of blocks in a highly interactive session that will invite you to reflect on the role of the teacher, stages of block play, setting up a block centre and more! Come prepared to play and learn!


Diane is a registered early childhood educator in the province of Ontario. Before retiring Diane taught early childhood education at both the degree and the diploma level for almost 30 years. Diane’s doctoral thesis on emergent curriculum was published in 2009 and she has co-written three ECE textbooks. Diane is the past president of the Association for Early Childhood Educators of Ontario and the current coordinator of the York Region Nature Collaborative. Diane’s areas of interest include play, blocks, forest and nature schools, risky play, loose parts, Reggio inspired practice, outdoor play and emergent curriculum. Diane writes a blog to support professional learning in early childhood education: Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research and loves to engage in continuous professional learning face to face and through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Diane presents workshops, webinars and keynote addresses in Ontario, across Canada and internationally.