The Educational Benefits of Playing with Blocks

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. 

Through block play, children learn the following skills:children learning through block play

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 Read more

How To Improve Handwriting Skills, Part 2 | Pediatric Therapy Tv

In part 2 of How To Improve Handwriting Skills, Occupational Therapist works on specific  handwriting techniques with a student.  (Click here For Part 1)

In This Video You Will Learn:

  • What’s the best sitting position for good handwriting
  • What is a slant-board and how it can help
  • What is a helper hand

Video Transcription:

Announcer: From Chicago’s leading experts in pediatrics to a worldwide
audience, this is Pediatric Therapy TV, where we provide experience and
innovation to maximize your child’s potential. Now your host, here’s Robyn.

Robyn: Hello and welcome to Pediatric Therapy TV. I’m your host, Robyn
Ackerman. Today I am standing with occupational therapist
Deborah Michael. Deborah’s going to show us how to work with a
child on handwriting.

Deborah: You have to stay between the two red lines, right? All right,
are you ready? How’s your engine feeling now? A little slower,
right? Okay. Which pencil are you going to use?

Child: This one.

Deborah: Okay. Here goes the timer. Are you ready?

Child: What should I write?

Deborah: Well, let’s see your shirt. How about ‘Go Blackhawks’? Ready?
Okay, now you want to make sure your feet are on the floor, your
elbows are at the right height, and the chair is very important,
the chair you’re on. We already talked about that. The ball, the
chair, the blanket, go.

Make it a capital. Hit those two red lines. Let’s move this up a
little bit. Go ahead.

This is a slant board, which is easier to write on and also
easier when you’re copying from a blackboard. Here, let me get
that. I just wanted to show everybody. The slant board, when
you’re copying from the wall, it’s just easier than going all
the way down to the floor.

Child: Is ‘hawks’ capitalized?

Deborah: You have it right here. You can capitalize the whole thing.
There you go. Well, now you’re going really slowly. Let’s make
it a little bit faster because your time’s almost up. We
definitely slowed you down. Nice. Now let’s just copy this. You
can see how it’s a little bit easier with this slant board to
copy this. Just write ‘2010’ right there.

Beautiful. Just one more thing. Wait, this is your helper hand.
You need your helper hand on the paper. Go ahead. Good work. All
done. High-five. OK. Go take a break. Go run around.

Robyn: Thank you Deborah, and thank you to our viewers. And remember,
keep on blossoming!

Announcer: This has been Pediatric Therapy TV, where we bring peace of
mind to your family with the best in educational programming. To
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