Building Blocks Help Your Child Grow
Block play is an open-ended activity with limitless possibilities. As children grow older, they develop newer ways to creatively build with blocks, which makes it a creative learning tool.
Right from newborns to preschoolers, all kids enjoy playing with blocks, the only difference being their changing perception with respect to their age. Babies love to hold blocks and bang them on the floor. This initiates a development of their sensory organs by allowing them to feel the texture of the blocks and recognize their unique sounds.
Toddlers develop more muscle control, and learn to combine, stack, and line up the blocks. They also begin to develop their thinking ability through toy blocks. They attempt to build basic structures by combining the blocks together, which starts developing their thought process and imaginative skills. This is the time when they start displaying their creativity and imagination.
Furthermore, preschoolers begin to understand the intricacy of the blocks, and how they fit into each other in different ways. This helps them construct more elaborate and complex structures, while improving their skills even more. Take a look at the various aspects of child development that improve with toy blocks, in the following sections.
One of the most primary and important development that block play promotes is physical development. A child needs to develop gross and fine motor skills early on in childhood to be able to perform activities like tying shoe laces, wearing clothes on their own, buttoning their own shirt, and most importantly, to be able to write and draw. Building blocks develop strength in the muscles and bones of those tiny fingers, which helps them hold a pencil properly, and begin scribbling prior to writing alphabets. Apart from motor skills, building blocks also improve hand-eye coordination, which is helpful in developing the efficiency of performing any task.
No play is complete without kids screaming, shouting, and celebrating their small achievements during the play. They are willing to talk to their parents or fellow mates and show them what they have created out of their blocks. This willingness and enthusiasm automatically increase their vocabulary, because their parents and other kids provide them newer words to learn. As a parent, you can get on the floor with your kid and assist him in the block play while having a continuous conversation. You can ask him questions like what are you planning to build out of these blocks? Do you think the structure will maintain its balance when it's of so much height? What is the name of your building? etc. This will teach the child to respond when people are talking to him, and initiate development of conversational skills.
Learning about the names of colors, shapes, objects, and recognizing numbers, also proves beneficial in their initial schooling, wherein, the child comes across the colors and shapes in his textbook, and can easily relate to their names since they were used in his block play.
The working of our body system is such that when we see objects around us, their images are formed in our minds. This helps to perceive the object, and relate it to other existing objects in the surrounding. Similarly, even children have this perception ability, but it is still in the developmental stage. When they see things around them, they form mental pictures of those things, and try to give them a concrete form through building blocks. This outstanding ability to create representations of mental pictures, forms the base of abstract thinking. Children learn to recognize shapes, colors, sizes, numbers, letters, patterns, and learn about length, breadth, weight, and area, while moving the blocks together and away from each other.
All of us strive hard to make ourselves acceptable to society. Our social behavior determines our place in the social structure around us. It is easier to adjust with the people in a social circle if we learn the basics of social behavior during childhood. Building blocks serve this purpose very well. When children play with toy blocks in a group, they communicate, share, help, and cooperate with each other. This helps to build a social bond between them, and makes them understand their responsibility towards their fellow mates, indirectly.
Creativity and Problem Solving
Every child is unique, and he possesses unique imaginative skills. You may think that creating structures out of wooden and plastic cubes is fairly mechanical, and it can only indicate that the child may develop good logical skills in the future. However, there is a flip side to it that you might not have noticed so far. If you observe a group of kids playing with toy blocks, and try to converse with them, you will notice that even though they are kids, they have amazingly big ideas and plans for their construction.
Moreover, psychologists have categorized problems in two major ways―convergent problems and divergent problems. In this context, since kids can put the blocks together creatively in a variety of ways, the block play is considered as a divergent play. The diverging property of the play prepares kids to think creatively, and develops the skill of solving divergent problems easily.
Building blocks are the foundation of various skills that the child acquires as he grows older, and hence, it should be a part of every child's play. They serve the educational purpose of teaching math, language, and science to your child, which is hardly possible with any other toy. Let your child explore the world of building blocks, and learn the basics of the most advanced skills essential for survival in this competitive world.