Wooden building blocks have been a well-loved toy in many households for centuries. These blocks are wonderful because they come in many shapes and sizes.
They can be cylindrical, triangular, rectangular and many more shapes. You can even find magnetic wooden blocks now!
Blocks offer motivating activities to young and older children alike. Children with disabilities also benefit a great deal from these activities.
Not only are wooden blocks versatile, but they also offer endless ways for social and educational exploration. The play can be an individual or group-based.
During play, children engage in various activities.
You can choose to follow your child’s lead and see what they want to do with the blocks, or you can offer some guided play.
For example, you can give them a task to build a pyramid or a castle using the blocks, or you can help them to construct letters of the alphabet, or do some simple math activities such as addition and subtraction.
They are so many ways that children can learn by playing with wooden blocks.
Specific Skills Gained By Playing With Wooden Building Blocks
Block Play Strengthens Cognitive Skills
Basic mathematical concepts can be learnt through play with blocks. Concepts such as shape and size discrimination and sorting and ordering are learnt through exploring these blocks.
A study out of the University of Delaware and Temple University also pointed out that as children get older, the skills expand with the complexity of the blocks and game.
Preschoolers can learn logic and reasoning skills when they figure out how to build towers that won’t fall. They begin to learn about symmetry and balance.
Older children can solve more complex problems and build bigger structures. By doing this, they learn to visualize and soon are able come up with their own design or style, or excel at copying an existing format.
This creativity learned in simple ways through play goes a long way in a child’s life up to adulthood. Great engineers, architects, pilots and so forth acquired these cognitive skills by playing with open ended toys such as wooden blocks.
Playing With Blocks Helps Kids Become Well Rounded Adults
Being a social activity, block playing in a classroom or home setting can help facilitate a child’s social skills.
How children get to learn by playing with wooden building blocks is self-explanatory; while seated together, they share ideas on how to solve a common problem.
For example, they may divide the work where each child has to work on a different part of the structure they are constructing.
In this kind of setting, children learn how to interact with one another, and even get to know how to solve individual differences.
Lessons learned through this type of open ended play activity help children to become great leaders and responsible adults in their future.
Good work ethos such as teamwork is taught early in life. Today’s technology has rendered so many children loners and introverts. Grab that wooden block set and let your kids enjoy playing together and acquiring those noble social skills.
Block Play Improves Attention Span
Like any other muscle in the body, the attention muscle also needs to be built.
Building other body muscles involve such things as regular exercise, healthy eating, enough sleep and all that.
Attention muscle building requires mental challenges. Take out those wooden blocks and encourage your children to play with them.
Give them some ideas if they are having a hard time coming up with something, for example, you might challenge them to construct a beautiful castle or perhaps a rocket ship!
In so doing, the children will be deeply engrossed in the activity. Repeating these kind of activities greatly improves the attention span of the child as well as arousing their creativity.
These skills will be of great value to your child in their future since almost all real life situations need a person’s attentiveness. If you let your kids continue playing with flashy toys that do not require much mental effort, you will be depriving them their mental growth.
Enhances Fine Motor Skills
According to the OT Toolbox, fine motor skills are one of the important skills strengthened during block play.
From simple balancing to sophisticated manipulation, children can significantly improve their motor skills.
In children with disabilities such as the blind, getting a variety of blocks with various shapes provides sensory opportunities. For example, they can feel what rectangle, circular or pyramid shapes feel like.
Those small arms get used to balancing objects such as placing blocks and objects on top of one another when constructing structures.
Wooden blocks are great for this kind of activity because there is nothing holding them together. The benefits are significant to the motor coordination of the child.
Excellent motor skills enable children and adults to perform great tasks with minimal effort and time.
Fosters Responsibility and Cooperation
Another reason that playing with wooden blocks is great from a developmental perspective is that children learn to cooperate with one another during play. And they also get to work together with family members, peers and teachers.
During play they share responsibilities while solving a common problem thus, learning the essence of cooperation.
They can identify each other’s strengths and weaknesses and come up with appropriate measures.
They learn responsibility when they attend to the blocks after play time is done and it’s time to clean up.
So the next time you are considering that birthday gift for your child, go for that set of wooden blocks, the benefits are immense.
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Block Play Aids In Language Development
During play, simple words such as balance, on top of, under, over, and reinforced can be learned. While playing alongside other children, your kids get exposed to language development opportunities.
Wooden blocks can also be manipulated to form different letter shapes for children working on pre-reading skills.
These little builders learn vocabulary and language skills as they learn the meaning of the words they are building.
Generally much of language and communication is learnt here.
The benefits your child stands to learn while playing with blocks are indeed so much that they cannot be summarized in one article.
Overall, these blocks enhance development in all areas of a child’s life. Look to them to be the fuel that drives your child to be more outgoing and sociable.
Problem-solving skills get developed as well, as do mathematical, literacy and language skills.
Activities which concentrate on creating build the self–esteem of the child and trigger the feelings of success. Children become self-reliant, therefore bringing up a responsible group of young adults.
This article was written by Betty, manager of scrfe.com.