Inviting your toddler to play with educational building toys opens up a wealth of developmental and learning opportunities to them. Excellent for independent and group/sibling play, nowadays building blocks come in all shapes, sizes and colours making them even more appealing to our children.
Wooden building blocks are a classic learning tool to challenge your toddlers imagination, as well as helping to lay down the foundations for basic math skills.
Educational Building Toys
Your toddler will use their imagination to transform classic building blocks into an infinite number of creative structures, as they experiment during their playtimes.
As your toddler grows your building blocks can then be added to story telling baskets or small world play set ups to encourage them to tell their own stories or re-tell classic stories in their own words.
Introducing Basic Math
It's never too early to start teaching your toddler basic math skills. Count with your toddler as they stack up bricks one at a time, talk about the different colors and shapes as you play, make basic patterns or build shapes with them.
Strengthening Fine Motor Skills
Developing strong fine motor skills is an essential part of your toddlers development. The small muscles in their wrists, hands and fingers need to be strengthened to allow them to independently complete tasks such as cutting up their own food and fastening and unfastening their own clothes.
Manipulating bricks in their small hands, putting them together and taking them apart again all play a part in strengthening these muslces.
Introducing Problem Solving
Your toddlers first instinct will probably be to build a tower as high as they can, eventually it will fall down around them. But as they play and experiment with their blocks, they will start to work out why the their towers keep falling down and what they need to do to make them stay up for longer.
Encouraging good social skills
Building toys are excellent for independent and group/sibling play.
Working together with an older sibling on a building project provides a great taste of working as a team to achieve something or sitting down with a small group of children of the same age will help promote the value of sharing toys.
Improve Language Skills
A study sponsored by Mega Bloks in 2007 reported that toddlers who were encouraged to play with building blocks over a 6 month period recorded higher levels of development of vocabulary, grammar and verbal comprehension and showed less interest in watching TV programmes, than toddlers who had not been encouraged to play with building blocks.
Sitting down together to play with building blocks with your child is not only a great way to show them how to use them, it is also an excellent opportunity for you to sit and talk with your toddler about their day and tell stories together as you play. Both of which will benefit your toddlers hunger for learning new words and how to put longer sentences together.
According to The Association for Psychological Science;
"There is evidence suggesting that children's play with spatial toys (e.g. puzzles and blocks) correlates with spatial development."
Developing strong spatial awareness is essential for your growing toddler. They need to develop the correct skills to allow them to look at an object and visualise in their mind how it fits into a space.
As they grow older they will use their spatial skills to help them walk down a street without bumping into somebody, how to build a piece of furniture or remember where they put something when they need to find it again.
Christakis DA, Zimmerman FJ, and Garrison MM. 2007. Effect of block play on language acquisition and attention in toddlers: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 161(10):967-71.