We've never really had a dedicated block play area. All our blocks just lived in buckets on the shelves with the rest of Silas' toys. This worked fine for awhile, but they really fell out of rotation and he was very rarely choosing to play with them. I decided to make a space just for blocks to make sure that he has the opportunity and the space to build and the freedom to leave his creations up if he wanted to.
We have the blocks loosely sorted by type (window blocks, hollow blocks, regular blocks, and wooden spools). I put down a large cutting board (that we already had, but have never used) to define the work area and to make a level surface for building. Taking some cues from Reggio, I printed out a couple pictures of Silas working on stacking structures as well as a poem about blocks, which also has a simple illustration of a little boy building with blocks, and hung them on the wall. Silas loves these. He likes to take them down and put them back up, bring me the poem to read, or talk about his buildings.
After setting up the space, he got right to it. He's still really into dumping, so all the blocks ended up on the floor. Some building did happen, though.
A little break to look at the colors. "All blue!"
His imaginative play is really taking off and he's started to make things that represent something else. He set these up for example and said, "TV! Computer!" This is amazing to me. This child has never watched TV in his life, only catching glimpses of it on two occasions when we were at other people's homes. We do have a TV and a computer in our main living area, though, so he's not unaware of them. I guess this just goes to show how much our environment (whether we interact with it directly or not) influences him.
Checking out the structure in the drawing (as I type this, Silas is playing beside me and when he saw this photo he went to the wall and grabbed the poem down. Multiple levels of representation!).