All kids love Blocks. There are many different kinds of blocks on the market: small, large, colorful, interlocking, different shapes, wood, metal, foam and plastic. Even though blocks are a simple toy, they are an essential, effective, developmental and educational tool for kids.
Soft toy blocks are introduced to kids when they are babies because they are light-weight, colorful, safe, and they are usually larger for easier handling. Babies learn motor skills by grasping and picking up blocks and this strengthens their fingers. As the babies grow, they start on their learning path with building blocks.
Playing with blocks develops a child's brain performance. This is especially important for Autistic children. As they repeat the same building action over and over, they gradually learn to design different structures. It has been shown that Autistic children interact better socially while playing with building blocks. Toddler's blocks are usually smaller, made of wood or plastic. They come with letters, numbers, animal pictures, different shapes and sizes and can be interlocking. There are blocks made for all ages giving parents and caregivers a wide range of blocks from which to choose.
Children learn logic and reasoning while playing with blocks. They learn how to stack blocks and if they fall over, they can use reasoning to figure out how to make a stable foundation. They learn how to manipulate the different shapes into many different designs. They also learn through trial and error. This is the beginning of being able to think ahead and vision the design they want to make.
Children will start learning how to count with the blocks. Numbered blocks can be used, or just plain blocks by stacking them or lining them in a row. As they progress, they can learn math skills by adding one group of blocks to another and counting out the total. Subtraction is learned in the same way. Studies have shown that children have higher reasoning and math skills from playing with blocks.
Another fun activity with blocks is learning colors. There are many colored sets available. They can be regular blocks or different shaped blocks. Children can put all same-colored blocks together and build a shape with them or count them. The more kinds of blocks that children have, the more they can do with them, and the more they learn.
Building blocks help in understanding sequence importance. This is a helpful way to develop reading skills. Kids love retelling how they build their structures and experienced set-backs which they overcame. Through this they are developing language skills. And when the language is there, writing becomes easier.
Block play also enhances spatial (structural or dimensional) reasoning. While playing with blocks, kids are deciding how to build. They are figuring out what shapes fit together and where they will go in the structure they are envisioning. They are also determining what colors to use in certain areas. This is an important tool because they are learning how to do things correctly and in an orderly manner which aids them in their future general living.
When kids are with friends or in a daycare or school setting, they are developing social skills while playing with blocks. They learn how to share, design and build together with other kids. They learn give-and-take cooperation in order to finish a project.
Parents, Grandparents, teachers and caregivers also enjoy playing blocks with kids, creating a lasting bond which is important. They also find these toys are great learning tools, fun for the kids, and have a really positive impact on their development. What a great way to build a child's confidence!