Build a Foundation of Fun with Blocks
What are the building blocks to a well-stocked, fun, and educational, toy collection? The actual blocks themselves—which come in all shapes and sizes. While the classic ABC blocks still offer hours of enjoyment, young builders these days have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to building toys. From Magna-Tiles to brands like Playmobil and Lego, blocks are the foundation of educational play. Here are 10 things you can teach your child through block play.
- Cause and effect. The most basic (and loved!) block game might be the one where mom or dad builds a tower and their child knocks it down. Encourage your little one to investigate different ways to smash and crash your latest creation. Then switch roles by challenging them to build one.
- Memory. Classic ABC blocks can teach kids letters, colors and basic sight words; blocks of varied shapes make memorizing geometric shapes a snap. Blocks can also be grouped and categorized into like shapes, colors, or sizes.
- Balance is everything. Your tower can only lean so much before it comes crashing down. Talk to your child about re-engineering to fix the problem on the next attempt. And give you child blocks of different sizes and see if they can figure out how to make the best foundation.
- Tenacity. To that point, if at first you don’t succeed, build and build again.
- Math skills. They may not realize it, but children will learn to solve spatial issues of measure and volume in their creations.
- Teamwork. Design and build a project with your child teaching them to cooperate and compromise along the way.
- Imagination. What kind of design can you dream up? Where did the inspiration come from?
- Hand-eye coordination. Children will quickly learn the value of a soft touch when working with building materials.
- Attention to detail. As your child progresses from basic blocks to more advanced building sets, the ability to read and follow simple instructions will be magnified. Many a Lego project has been derailed by one missed piece.
- Self-confidence. I did it! The feeling of accomplishment and pride at completing a project and showing it off to mom and dad will go a long way toward building self-confidence in a child.