Research suggests that playing with toy building blocks could be linked to a number of developmental improvements in children. Skills such as hand-eye coordination, problem solving and spatial reasoning are all skills used when playing with building blocks. Below are some of the ways that letting your children play with building blocks could help increase their development.
Throughout life, children will need to think up strategies to overcome obstacles and solve problems. Building blocks are a very effective way of improving divergent problem solving skills. Divergent problems are problems that can be solved in different ways, and because building blocks can be stacked in many different ways, these are a perfect problem solving toy.
Building blocks will encourage creative problem solving and give them the freedom to think outside the box. Try challenging your child to build a tower that is a certain height, or that can support a certain weight. They’ll often achieve the task through trial and error and develop their problem solving skills in the process.
Spatial intelligence is the ability to visualize shapes and images and to retain and transform them in your mind. This is an important skill in jobs such as architecture where understanding the design of a building is crucial. It’s also essential in medicine, where doctors and surgeons have to visualize parts of the human body.
Children who develop their spatial intelligence will likely perform better in science and mathematics classes. Improving their spatial intelligence by building more sophisticated structures is a great way to help them develop. By building and transforming physical shapes they will practice mentally imagining what will happen when they put a building block in a certain place.
Young builders creating towers and castles will teach them the basics of engineering. Small structures will still have to overcome the laws of physics to survive against gravity. At first when a child plays with building blocks, the building will fall down. But as they develop an understanding of mechanical forces they will start to build more stable structures.
This grasp of physics forms a basis for improving their engineering skills later in life. To help them improve you can suggest trying to build a bridge that one of their toys can move across.
Encourage children to try to create new things, not just buildings from instruction booklets. As kids play with building blocks, they’ll discover and grow their creative ability. By trying new techniques, they’ll learn they can bring something new to the world. This will give them the confidence to spread their creativity to new tasks such as language, art or music.
Cooperative construction will help children to improve their social skills and teamwork. Even though it’s great to give children independence with their toys, by teaming up to create something it can help improve their friendliness and cooperation. Children that only play alone will often struggle to enjoy problem solving with other children which can damage relationships.
By cooperating on building projects from an early age, children can make social improvements as they learn the value of working together to help achieve something.
Tips for Using Toy Building Blocks
Children sometimes need to be encouraged and given the confidence to try techniques when playing with their toys. Some kids will be scared of failure or not yet realize their creative abilities. Praise children for their achievements and encourage them to progress.
Challenging kids to be able to build something is a great way to grow their creativity and problem solving skills. Don’t suggest something too hard, just suggest a slight improvement on something they’ve already accomplished to encourage them to push themselves.
Combine with Other Toys
Bringing in other toys such as characters from their favorite game or animals can bring their creations to life and fuel their creativity. They’ll build new worlds for their other toys to play in which will make great playtime.