Building Blocks – Back To Basics

blocksBlocks are a staple toy of childhood, but with the introduction of electronic toys, they can often be overlooked. It is a real shame as building blocks offer a great number of benefits to young children and teach them amazing skills.

When young kids are introduced to blocks, it is firstly all about the texture, the weight and the colours. The learning occurs through play as they begin to understand how to build them up, knock them down and the connection between cause and effect. As they get a bit older, pretend play will enter into the equation, and they will happily engage near or alongside other children. Ordering, counting and sorting is eventually more of a feature. As they become more practised with block building, their efforts are more structured. Problem-solving abilities kick in as they begin to engage animals, people and vehicles around their construction buildings. Their knowledge of spatial relations are widened, and they use basic science to make predictions, and develop a greater understanding of stability and balance.

Here are a few of the valuable lessons children can learn by playing with their blocks.

Problem-solving

Setting out to build something comes with a whole new set of challenges. How can they make it look like that? How can they build higher or wider?

Social growth

While this is more evident in slightly older children, blocks enable children to share materials and ideas when participating in a joint construction project. It is an excellent way to bond and learn cooperation through play.

Imagination

The simplest things can bring out your child’s imagination, and building blocks are no exception. They can build something by themselves or band together with other kids and come up with joint plans.

Self-esteem

Watch them smile to themselves as they come to grips with a particular concept or achieve a goal. Seeing them develop their skills and in turn, their self-esteem and confidence is particularly exciting as a parent.

Creativity

It is such a wonderful thing for a child to be able to come up with something in their mind and build it. It develops their creativity in so many unimaginable ways. We can learn a lot from our children if we take the time to watch and listen.

Mathematics

Building blocks and maths go hand in hand. Think measurements, lengths, counting and symmetry to name a few. So much learning to develop their bright minds and they don’t even realise it.

Self-expression

A stage such as a set of blocks gives young children a platform on which to build whatever they like. They can express themselves however they want to in a safe and fun environment without fear or judgment.

So when you are shopping for a birthday or Christmas gift for your child, or for someone else’s child, perhaps you should consider a set of building blocks. They come highly recommended and are perfect for small hands and busy minds!