Learning Through Block Play
Blocks are amazing tools for learning through play beginning as early as 6 months and lasting throughout the pre- school years. Blocks are recommended, above all other toys, when it comes to nurturing social/emotional, physical and cognitive development.
What Are Children Learning Through Block Play?
- Mathematical Skills: when children play with blocks, they are practicing mathematical skills, by selecting blocks of different sizes and shapes, comparing surface volume areas, classifying and grouping. Even clean up time involves math skills, as children can be asked to sort identical and dissimilar shapes and organize them by size.
- Cooperative Skills: playing with blocks also builds on cooperative skills when block play involves other children and the social development of play.
- Language skills: language skills benefit from block play too, as children discuss their structures, explain their ideas, share stories, and listen to other kids’ perspectives.
- Fine Motor Skills: manipulating blocks to balance, fit, and stack helps to grow and develop fine motor skills.
Adding wooden blocks to your child’s collection of toys (or smaller versions to save space) will provide him with endless entertainment and fun, and will develop cognitive, language, social/emotional, and motor development.
Talking With Your Child About His Structure:
One of the most effective ways to reinforce children’s block play is to talk to them about their specific work. Use statements that describe what your child has done, or ask open-ended questions that encourage him or her to talk about the structures.
- Choice of blocks: “You found out that two of these blocks make one long block.”
- Arrangement: “You used three blocks to make a triangle.”
- Number used: “You used five blocks to make the bed.”
- Similarity: “All the blocks you used are the smallest size.”
- Noteworthy designs: “Your tower is as tall as you!”
- Descriptors: “Some of your blocks are on their side and some of them are lying down.”