An infant or toddler’s brain is constantly growing and expanding. For this reason, the early years of child development are the best time for parents to provide their kids with helpful aids to stimulate and facilitate mental development. So what is a parent to do?
Infants and toddlers learn primarily from hands-on activities, exploring and playing. They are not quite ready for reading books or surfing the Internet, but it won’t be long before they get to that so enjoy this phase while it lasts! Parents can spend a lot of money on fancy electronic toys and battery-powered gadgets but they will have a hard time finding anything more effective than one of the simplest, oldest and lowest cost toys available, building blocks.
Building blocks toys will do as much and possibly more than any other toy to encourage a child’s growth and development. More than other toys blocks engage children in what psychologists call “creative play”. Blocks do not specify the “story” of playtime, so a child can create whatever he or she imagines. Creative play helps a child develop socially, emotionally, and physically - all skills that will benefit a child later in life.
As babies, wood building blocks help develop a child’s sensory skills by encouraging sight, touch, and sound. The bright colors encourage infants to grasp the blocks, and multiple colors help the child to learn to distinguish between two objects. Therefore it is important for blocks to be colorful, easy to grasp, and smooth-edged (to avoid hurting the child). As they grow, infants and toddlers will taste everything. Therefore it is important that the building blocks be non-toxic and durable. Overall the children will be learning about sizes, shapes, colors, numbers, patterns, length, and weight, all supporting their cognitive development.
When toddlers grasp the toys, they will also be developing their motor skills and hand-eye coordination. As they grow older, they will begin attempting to stack and balance blocks, which will further encourage both their fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Carrying the blocks will develop the child’s small muscles, improving their physical development.
When children join their peers in a “game” with blocks toys, they will also be developing their social and emotional skills. They will be negotiating for the items that they want and exchanging ideas with other children. When the children’s viewpoints differ, they will be expanding their knowledge and learning to respect viewpoints other than their own.
When adults show genuine interest, children are often eager to tell others about their creation. They will develop their language skills as the adults help them find accurate words to describe their imagination, and might even develop writing skills by creating signs for their “buildings”.
These are only a few of the benefits of building blocks toys for children. The blocks can also help a child develop logical, musical, or even mathematical skills. Simple wooden blocks or other wood toys offer an infinite number of uses in a child’s play area!
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Joe Kanooga is a father of two kids, a successful business owner and the author of numerous articles about building blocks. Click here to download a free blocks toys guidebook filled with tips, ideas and information.
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