As educators, we know the importance of learning through play. Block play is an excellent “teacher” for children of all ages, from infancy through Pre-K.
What are some concepts that blocks can teach us? For infants and toddlers, blocks help with motor development as they try to stack them or reach out to knock over towers. Blocks offer the chance for problem solving as children try to figure out how to balance sides of the construction to ensure success. They are wonderful for mathematics as we help children count them out, and when given other items to use with blocks (ex. cars to drive under block arches), imagination becomes ignited! Working together is practiced when there is block play. Infants come together, with an adult’s guidance, to learn the concepts of “taking turns” and “waiting,” (two things that can be difficult for young toddlers), and to share in the ultimate joy when the tower comes tumbling down! Blocks can be used to also teach shapes, colors and to discern sounds made by different materials. At all ages, block play is a powerful teaching tool.
When shopping for an educational toy, consider building your “block library”! Your child’s brain will thank you!