The Benefits of Playing with Building Toys
Building toys, also known as building blocks, Lincoln Logs, LEGO, Mega Blocks, magnetic tiles, and even foam blocks, are essential for a child’s development.
Toys focused on building, creating, designing, stacking, and balancing help children learn motor skills and patience, improve hand-eye coordination, encourage language skills, promote cognitive thinking, solve problems, and introduce engineering skills.
Children who play with building toys at an early age have shown evidence of scoring higher on math assignments and tests than those who did not or were not interested in construction-related play.
Why is Stacking Blocks Important?
Spatial reasoning and spatial intelligence are crucial to help children learn to apply visual learning and understand their surroundings.
When using building toys, a child will be able to see a size, shape, or color and ultimately decide if it fits in their creation. At a very young age, the names of any figures or colors are not critical to know to the group, arrange, stack, or build.
However, as children reach preschool age and older, they begin learning the identifiable characteristics of their toys.
They can use visual clues at an advanced stage to better experience building activities.
Cognitive thinking and cognitive flexibility are just as vital as spatial intelligence.
Cognitive flexibility can be described as having the ability to switch tasks without needing additional help.
An example of this can be found in a typical preschool classroom with structured playtimes focused on building blocks and toys.
The preschool teacher will ask the children to create a tower or building independently.
Once everyone has finished their towers, the preschool teacher will ask the children to recreate a tower seen in a picture.
Block Play Activities
It may take time for all the students to understand what is being asked or how to switch from free building to building what they are being shown, but these cognitive skills will improve over time until it becomes natural.
Of course, this is only the beginning of cognitive intelligence.
As children continue to develop mentally, cognitive skills will include seeing and knowing how to adjust behaviors in different situations, such as when to move out of danger or be loud while playing outside but sitting quietly in class while learning.
It might not be a common realization at first, but building toys are an excellent tool for language building, social competence, and teamwork.
When a child is building a tower, store, home, train track, school, or any other creation they think of, a teacher, friend, or parent will often ask what is being built.
Questions and answers will naturally flow into a whole conversation as the story behind the structure are brought to light and upcoming storylines are imagined.
Verbal skills, improved vocabulary, comprehension, and the eagerness to share everything they can about their design stimulate these young builders’ minds.
Communicating encourages children to talk more with their families, start conversations with other children at daycare, school, church, or a park, and share their excitement with their new friends.
Block Play and Child Development
Puzzles may not be at the forefront of parents’ minds when searching for building toys to purchase for their children, but they play a unique role in problem-solving.
Building grand-scale train depots and train tracks from wooden blocks is a fantastic feat and requires some problem-solving skills, but putting a puzzle together is on a different level.
Whether starting with large bulky pieces that can only fit on one particular spot or attempting to build a 50-piece puzzle that makes one complete picture, puzzles introduce a new way to develop and solve problems.
Puzzles, board games, computer games, role-playing games, and mystery games are a few ways to help growing children develop their problem-solving skills.
When used with younger children in the infant and toddler years, when development starts and occurs every day, building blocks and toys can be crucial to establishing early learning. The skills we use as adults all stem from our younger years.
Critical thinking, spatial awareness, cognitive flexibility, creativity, social competence, and imagination were introduced to us from the toys we used during our playtimes.
Toys used for building and construction-related play are not meant only for young children but also for teenagers and the inner child we carry around as adults, helping us stay in check with our life skills.