While building blocks lack the bells and whistles of many other toys, kids love them! And that’s a good thing because there are many benefits of building block toys for kids.
Blocks offer children of all ages benefits in the following areas. Physical and cognitive development, language, social, science, and math skills.
Here’s a look at some of the specific benefits children gain when playing with blocks.
Fine Motor Skills and Hand-Eye Coordination
The very act of picking up blocks and stacking those blocks one on top of other blocks helps young children develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
As young kids begin stacking blocks, they also begin to learn about gravity and balance. They learn that if they don’t stack their blocks just right they will fall and they will have to start stacking them all over again.
When kids are given blocks that are different colors, they can learn about color recognition. Building blocks are a wonderful way for your child to begin to recognize various shades of the same colors.
Children may also begin to sort into sub categories. For example, they may group all of the green blocks together and then sort the green blocks into smaller piles according the shade or the size.
Blocks are a great way for kids to learn about and practice their sorting skills.
They may sort by color, size, or shape of the block. They also learn how to recognize and pick out blocks with special features such as letters or numbers. And sorting blocks that have letters or numbers on them can help kids develop their letter and number recognition skills.
Blocks also give children the opportunity to practice counting skills.
Kids have tons of fun counting the number of blocks they can stack on top of each other, or how many blocks it takes to build a wall, or how many pieces are needed to make a roof for a building they have built.
Building with blocks helps children with their spatial awareness, as they quickly become proficient at judging the amount of space a certain block needs.
In order for a child to build using blocks, they need to develop concentration and attention to detail.
Whether making a tower of single blocks or actually building a bridge or building, a child needs to concentrate on what they are doing in order to be successful.
Parents are often surprised to find a child that can’t sit through a 10 minute cartoon can spend 30 minutes or more trying to get one small part of a building project completed without any prompting.
Building with blocks helps kids develop problem solving skills. Not everything they attempt to build works according to how they think it should. So in order to complete a project successfully, they need to employ problem solving skills (often through trial and error) to solve a glitch.
When allowed the freedom to solve building problems on their own, it’s really amazing to see the innovative solutions that kids come up with!
Encourages Following Directions
As children get older and want to build more complicate structures, they learn to follow either pictorial or written directions.
This is an important skill that a child will be able to use throughout their life.
Being able to look at a picture and replicate it is an important skill and one that can be quite difficult to master. Blocks provide a way for kids to practice and master this skill while having fun and not feeling a lot of pressure.
Development of Language Skills
Building with blocks helps children develop their language skills, as they may want to ask for help or explain what they’re building and how they’re building it.
Kids actually enjoy explaining how they were able to create something to anyone who is genuinely interested and often will show others how with step-by-step directions.
For many children, building is more fun if they are building with parent, sibling or friend. By working with others, kids are developing important social skills such as sharing and teamwork.
They’re also learning to listen the ideas of others and expressing their own ideas, and perhaps even learning to compromise.
Applying Their Imagination to Real World Problems
Playing with blocks allows children to apply their growing imagination to real world problems. As they work to make their fantasy building project come to life, they’re learning to think outside the box so they can build whatever they dream up in their mind.
Going Beyond Blocks To Use Other Materials
Children quickly learn to combine other objects and materials with their blocks for various building projects.
For example, a child may use blocks to build a fort and then a scrap of cloth tied to a small dowel for a flag. Or they may build a castle and then use blue clay or Play Doh to make the water in a moat.
Although building blocks are one of the simplest early childhood toys, they provide kids with many important benefits.
With so much focus on technology in the world today, it’s nice that a simple classic toy like building blocks can be so good for our kids!