Sometimes we can take simple children’s toys and games for granted, not realising that some of them were customised to help your baby grow and learn. Who would have known that playing with toy blocks can actually be a ‘building block’ to your child’s development? Let’s have a look at the many areas that are impacted from simply encouraging your child to play with blocks.
Psychologists and researchers have talked a lot about the importance of block play in the development of young children. Time and again, this has been proved beyond doubt. Block play has a valuable contribution in building the cognitive abilities of your child. Exploring blocks enhances their understanding of math, science, language, etc. and is known to develop some other skills as well.
Let’s look at these benefits in detail
1. Mathematical Ability
Block building can drastically improve your child’s mathematical ability. Since blocks come in various shapes, sizes and colours, they are perfect tools to introduce math to your baby in a fun and interesting way. You can introduce various shapes, teach them which shape has how many sides, and teach them to count the blocks as well.
2. Language Ability
While children are playing with blocks, they encounter new experiences everyday as they keep innovating with the shapes. To develop their language ability, you can introduce a new concept using words that are new to your child. This will help him build his own idea of the new words you use. This helps forming a strong sense of word associations as well.
3. Building Motor Skills
When your kid is learning to build something with blocks, he is lifting his hand, moving around to build that train or castle. While doing so he is not only building his motor skills, his eye and hand co-ordination is also improving to a great extent.
4. Improves Spatial Ability
Building structures out of blocks encourages children to understand spatial relationship as he needs to picture the complete image in his mind. Regular practice of this mental imagery is what improves spatial ability in your child.
5. Improves Creative Thinking Skills
When your child is trying to construct any object, he needs to first see the object and then create a visual image out of that object. This triggers your child’s imagination, making him want to create something. Parents and teachers should always encourage children to add a creative touch to things/objects. Teach a child to see things beyond the obvious and watch their imagination go wild.
6. Enhances Problem Skills
Through block play, your child learns also develops his problem solving ability. When you tell him to build a train, he will start enthusiastically, however somewhere during the process of building the train, he will encounter a challenge and then it’s your job to encourage him to think on his own on ways of resolving that problem. Initially you can suggest a solution. Most kids will either take your suggestion or they will innovate based on it.
Block Play is very beneficial for the overall development of children and should be started as soon as from 6 months of age. Although at this stage you can teach your child colours through block play, it is essential to introduce the concept to really reap its benefits when your child is older.