Why Are Blocks Important?

By: Carla Gridley
Sep
21
2017

 Blocks are important because ...

Station Sign (Blocks) (11.5 x 17.25).jpg

 

For one, blocks teach kids how to problem solve.  In the process of playing with blocks, they learn the shapes different blocks can make when they are put together, they learn which arrangements are gravitationally stable, and they learn which arrangements are prone to toppling over.

Uh oh! Oh no! No matter how creative your child's imagination, there's no escaping the laws of physics!

But there's no time like the present for kids to learn that there is no way around these “rules.” Soon they'll begin to understand that they must use them strategically and to their advantage if their next block building endeavour is to escape the same sad fate.

This process is also an excellent way for kids to learn mathematical concepts.  Blocks are especially great for teaching children geometry.  They learn that different shapes can do different things—cylinders can roll, and cubes are especially stackable.  When trying to build something that looks the same on both sides, children learn that their blocks have to be congruent.  In building walls, they practice with the concepts of parallel and perpendicular.  

If geometry is a little too advanced of a concept, blocks are also pretty good at teaching children to work with numbers. They have to figure out how many of each kind of block they need and how many sides a shape needs for it to have its intended purpose.  When a project is complete, a child can even count its corners, walls, entryways, etc. too!

Blocks are an excellent way to help children develop spatial awareness and fine motor skills.  No matter how solid the vision or plan, building a wall or tower has to be done with focused attention so it doesn’t come tumbling down!  

When reaching into a block structure, a child has to keep his or her hand at a cautious distance from anything it might knock over.  Arranging blocks with increasing precision trains clumsy little hands to steady themselves and make fine finger movements for the finishing touches.

Last—but not least—playing with blocks fosters emotional wellness and the development of self-esteem as children think creatively, test their ideas, and express themselves.  The open-endedness of blocks allows children to bring their imaginations to life and show others what they were thinking.  Playing around with different shapes and sizes allows them to figure out what works and what doesn’t, leading to proud “aha” moments and increased self-confidence.  

At Childcare Network, blocks are just one of many wonderful ways our students learn through play!  Blocks aren’t just fun, but highly-beneficial for their development. Who knew these deceptively simple toys could help children to develop in a wide range of areas?  

We did! And now you do too!
 


 
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