Blocks has been a staple toy for our children for such a long time. It is one of the few toys that we may first get for our child and dare we say it, possesses the most play affinity with any child. Give any child some blocks and you’ll see him/her building away be it a princess castle or a rocket ship.
Because we see our children building all the time with blocks, we probably may get flippant about it. Some off-hand comments we make are:
Oh, she’s playing with her blocks. Again.
My child has enough blocks. He needs something else.
And with that, we begin to fail to see the good that blocks play has for our child.
Allow us to put blocks under a new light for you and hopefully help you understand why blocks play so much importance in your child’s development.
First off, blocks are extremely versatile play toys in that they are open-ended. This means that they can be used for any purpose, in many different ways and are only limited by your imagination. With blocks, the sky really is the limit.
Blocks also support your child’s holistic development. We break down its benefits to their corresponding areas of development.
When your child uses his/her fingers, hands and arms to lift, move and build, he/she is also working on some aspects of physical development such as eye-hand coordination, balance and spatial awareness.
2. Cognitive development
Blocks offer your child the opportunity to engage in problem-solving and reasoning skills. He/she is constantly working out solutions to problems during building and constructing. Examples of such problems are how to build the tallest tower without it falling, how to create a design in mind with the limited pieces available, what works during building and what doesn’t.
At the same time, blocks come in many different shapes, sizes and colours. This unlocks a whole world of numeracy where your child compares between sizes and colours, creates patterns and recognizes symmetry. On top of that, he/she learns about numbers especially when play is supplemented with weighing and measuring tools.
In terms of developing scientific skills, blocks play allows for your child to engage in cause and effect relationships and experimentation.
3. Language development
Language flourishes during blocks play especially when your child plays with friends or an adult partner. This play experience allows your child to discuss ideas of his building design and potentially learn new vocabulary. In addition, blocks can also be used to support story-telling.
4. Social development
In a social setting with peers, blocks play is a platform for children to co-construct and engage in negotiation. They learn to take turns and share materials. Should they be working on a building project together, they will also learn to cooperate with others so as to be able to finish the project.
5. Emotional development
Blocks play is also a medium through which your child can express himself/herself. Their play and creations can tell you so much more about themselves and what they are feeling or thinking.
And there you have it. The numerous benefits blocks play has on your child that you might not see with the naked eye. Which one do you think can be noticed in your blocks-loving child?
To learn more about facilitating play-learning with your little one at home, consider checking out online courses like the Fun@Home online sensory playgroup workshop.
You can also open up your child to endless ways of developing these benefits with a My Messy box subscription.
Stay safe, and happy playing!