The educational benefits of toy blocks are giving you the ideas of toy block play and what it can do to help build one’s skills in early childhood years.
When we talk about educational toys, toy blocks are probably one of the most common ones you will find in every family with children. Just like I do, I thought my daughter “needs” to have one set of toy blocks too just like everyone else but I do not understand how toy blocks can do to help my child during her early childhood year. Therefore, the toy blocks are ended up just sitting in one corner, underutilized. It will be a waste of money if you do not know how to make use of it to benefit your child. I think you might have the same thought too.
After research, I have come out with this article to help the parents to understand easily the educational benefits of toy blocks and what are the 6 development skills they get from the play. So get ready to dig out your old toy blocks and let your child play again!
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In my mind, toy blocks are normally colorful blocks made of wood or plastic, and Legos is the famous toy block I’ve ever known. In fact, there are many different types of blocks you can find in the market. They come in different colors, shapes, and sizes. The most common ones are made of wood that you see at most nursery centers and those plastic ones like Legos blocks.
There are other blocks that are made of Eva foam. These foam-made blocks are soft and light, have now gained more popularity nowadays and they are ultra-safe for young babies, toddlers, and even preschoolers. They are also non-toxic and waterproof too.
There are also blocks made of silicone. Usually, these blocks are made for young babies as it is made of silicone, it is safe for babies to chew on them during their teething stages. As it is waterproof, your baby can have some fun time with these blocks during her bath time too.
The above are some examples of different types of blocks for your children to play with. There are many more which I have not stated here. They are alphabets and numbers blocks, magnetic building blocks, interlocking blocks, and other specialized blocks which can allow your child to have endless formation and creations.
In this article, I want to focus on the educational benefits of toy blocks that will allow building a variety of skills. I have summarized them into 6 development skills.
The educational benefits of toy blocks
Better Motor skills
Children will try their best to stack these blocks up high, they will keep building it high until these blocks topple over and the process is repeated again and again. Their eye-hand coordination will be improved from time to time with practice. While they are playing with blocks, their motor skills will be getting better as they grasp and grip the object firmly, also a good practice to help strengthen their finger and hand.
Mental challenge & problem solving
Toy blocks trigger imagination and creativity. It is an open-ended toy and there will be endless outcomes and results after play. Toy blocks allow your child to think logically which is crucial for young children’s development. When the blocks topple over, they will repeat the process by building them in different ways to prevent them from toppling over again. For older children, they will eventually find out by building more blocks on the bottom will help to stabilize the structures they are building so that it will not topple over easily.
This will take some time of course, but they will get better with practice. That’s how they learn the skills, they observe and think, a process which will take time to understand.
Language skills and counting skills
Toy blocks usually come in different shapes, colors, sizes, and some blocks are engraved with alphabets and numbers. Parents and caregivers will use these blocks to teach the young children about colors, shapes, sizes (big and small), alphabet ( A-Z), and numbers (1 -10). You may be surprised to learn that your child will pick up those words faster than you think and eventually develop their vocabulary and counting skills.
For older children, you can teach them about adding, subtracting, and grouping toy blocks. It will promote a better understanding of simple mathematic skills like adding and subtracting.
Children like to play in groups. Blocks play encourages children to make friends and learn to corporate and share during their play with other children or adults. Block play also promotes interaction and imagination which are also important for social play. After they finish playing, they will learn how to tidy up and put them back where it supposed to be. Children do not like to play alone, they like to play with friends. At home, children also want participation from their parents during the play. Take this opportunity to bond with your child. You can show them tricks or tips for playing with the toy blocks in more creative ways!
Building toy blocks promote creativity and self-confidence. Block play allows the children to build structures with their own designs and shapes. Using their imagination will help to boost cognitive, academic, language, and social growth.
Block play is able to boost one self-confidence. Block play needs some patience to build and it will be repeated after it topples over. If your child has finally finished building a structure and “a good job done” will help to boost up their confidence. This is important to encourage your child to take up challenges and have a more difficult task in the future with confidence.
There is a link between construction play with spatial skills. Block play is one good construction play. In one study, children who are more interested in building blocks and construction play not only build more advanced structures but score better on a standardized test of spatial intelligence.
Read more ” What is the importance of play in early childhood?