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Wooden Blocks - An Adaptable Toy for Children of All Ages
Home Family Parenting
By: Ian Harris Email Article
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Wooden building blocks are a classic toy that encourage physical, social and mental development in a child. Wooden toy blocks and bricks are a toy that can be used by all age groups from babies through to pre-school children. Children's Building blocks can be utilized in a variety of ways. In fact, there is no right or wrong way, what is done with them or how it is done is entirely up to the user and their ability to use their creativity and imagination.

Babies can benefit from the use of wooden baby blocks, many of their senses can be stimulated including; sight, touch and hearing. Hand-eye coordination can benefit when a baby attempts to takes hold of and picks up a block in making this action fine motor skills can be help along as well. When choosing wooden blocks for babies certain things should be considered; they should be of a large size (to avoid possible choking); be painted or dyed with a non-toxic covering as babies like to explore objects orally; be of a strong construction and have rounded corners and edges to avoid injury.

Once the progression to a toddler age is made wooden blocks will start to be used in more creative ways. Attempts will be made to use the bricks in constructing objects like steps or a tower. Stacking blocks or balancing them are activities that encourage the development of fine motor skills as well as gross motor skills as a toddler will like to pick up blocks and transport them to another place, perhaps using a blocks truck for transportation. From an educational point of view, blocks can have many attributes that can be used to introduce toddlers to new concepts; weight, color and texture being some of them. By pre-school age children's block toys can become a highly important tool for their further development. Building blocks become great educational toys with concepts such as; counting, grouping, balancing, and weight can be explored. For older children there are a great range of wooden building blocks available, which include a much greater range of shapes and structural elements; like arches, steps, rectangles and circles to name a few. These additional pieces make the building of authentic structures like houses, castles or bridges possible, this can then lead to interactions with other toys like wooden train sets where the block structures become part of the railways' landscape and infrastructure. Role play is very important aspect of learning at pre-school age and using blocks as props to act out real life scenarios can be beneficial.

There are certain sets of bricks that are especially suited to the introduction of numbers, letters and words. Wooden alphabet blocks have letter and numbers printed on their sides. A child can learn to identify the letter forms and with each brick being printed with different letters, the abc blocks can be used to make simple words by placing each one adjacent to the next. Many alphabet blocks also incorporate numbers so these can be taught as well and larger numbers formed by placing them together. Maths concepts can also be encouraged; adding, subtracting and grouping, which can be taught particularly well with standardized blocks.

A set of wooden blocks is timeless traditional wooden toy that is capable of being adapted for use by a child of any age and a worthy addition to any toy box.

Ian Harris is the director of Jack Ted and Dolly and writes on wooden toys (including wooden building blocks), toddler toys and child development.

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