It has been more than 200 years since it was determined that wooden blocks aid the development of young children through play with building blocks of various kinds.
They can be wooden, plastic, cardboard and even foam in vibrant colors and different shapes like cylinders, squares, arches, triangles and more.
- motor skills
- hand-eye coordination
- spatial skills
- creative problem-solving skills
- mental stimulation
- social skills
- language skills
Social benefits: Block play encourages children to make friends and cooperate, and is often one of the first experiences a child has playing with others. Blocks are a benefit for the children because they encourage interaction and imagination. Creativity can be a combined action that is important for social play.
Intellectual benefits: Children can potentially develop their vocabularies as they learn to describe sizes, shapes, and positions. Math skills are developed through the process of grouping, adding, and subtracting, particularly with standardized blocks, such as unit blocks. Experiences with gravity, balance, and geometry learned from toy blocks also provide intellectual stimulation.
Creative benefits: children receive creative stimulation by making their own designs with blocks. Building blocks inspire and encourage imaginative and creative play.
Blocks teach problem-solving skills through the discovery of how stacking and matching can produce different results.
One study found that kids who played with blocks scored higher on language tests than kids who had no blocks. Perhaps the children with blocks simply spent less time on unproductive activities such as watching TV--but the end result was good for them in any case.
Kids can integrate their own constructions into pretend play scenarios. And there is evidence that complex block-play is linked with advanced math skills in later life.
Blocks are also helpful for children with ADHD. Blocks are now available categorized by age for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, early school age and older school age children.
* Educational benefits of playing blocks
* Toy blocks - A guide at 'Parenting Science'
* Lessons to teach while playing with blocks