Are old fashioned blocks boring or beneficial? With all of the technology children have access to today, sometimes blocks can seem, well, boring. However, don’t underestimate this age-old toy. Blocks remain one of the most important toys for children to use in order to develop critical skills for school and for life.
Science Concepts: Children learn science when they experience gravity as their constructions fall. They also learn the use of simple machines as they build ramps to their buildings.
Spatial Reasoning: Young designers learn to manipulate space and objects through block play. Will this fit here? Will this fall down? Will this make the shape I want? Block play allows children to explore navigation of space and direction.
Math Concepts: Some of the math skills encountered through block play include counting, comparison of length and width, names of shapes and how to combine certain geometric shapes to make other shapes. Children are even learning the basics of addition when they discover that two short blocks will be the same size as another block.
Reading and Writing Skills: Through block play, children understand the importance of sequence, an important early reading skill, as they retell their experiences with the blocks. Both parents and teachers can help children write stories about what they are building.
Language Skills: Little builders learn language skills and vocabulary as they discuss what they are building.
Cooperation and Responsibility: Children learn cooperation and sharing as they work together with family members or other children during their play. In addition, they learn how to be responsible when they clean up after they are done with the blocks.
The next time you’re in a quandary over what kind of gift to purchase for your child’s next birthday party, don’t forget to consider a quality set of building blocks. The benefits are almost too great to fit into one list!