Building blocks, also referred to as “blocks” or “toy blocks”, have been around for decades and for all good reason. Their simple design and construction encourage a host of developmental skills, which make them the ultimate educational toy. In order to maximize the educational benefits of building blocks, try these 10 building block activities to aid in building your child’s development:

Building Blocks

  1. Stack em’–The most obvious way to use building blocks is to allow your child to simply stack them or build with them (it doesn’t matter if it is in an ordinary or extraordinary way)
  2. Knock em’ down–Small children, in particular, are known for their enjoyment of knocking things down. Building blocks are no exception.
  3. Sorting–Learning how to sort objects, or categorize objects, is a fundamental skill critical for understanding the world. Sorting with building blocks can be done by color, shape, or size. Building Block Activities
  4. Experiment–A great way for small children to learn the laws of physics is to experiment with objects. Building blocks are great for this purpose because they are shaped like many of the objects found in our daily lives (sippy cup=cylinder, toy box=cube, etc.). Experiment by testing each block to find out if it: slides, rolls, can be stacked, teeter totters, etc.
  5. How do they fit?–Not all blocks are treated the same. Using an empty, clean and dry juice container, have the child test each block to see if it fits through the mouth of the bottle. This activity not only teaches patience and perseverance, but the child will learn that some blocks have to be rotated for passage through.
  6. Make faces–This is my favorite activity using building blocks. I love that it allows for creativity, but it also teaches the parts that make up a face and the spatial sense involved in where those parts are in relation to one another. Building Block Activities
  7. Mathematical operations–Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. All can be taught with a simple set of multi-colored building blocks.
  8. Counting–What a simple, versatile, yet completely appropriate activity that couldn’t be more crucial to a child’s development. With a set of multi-colored building blocks in hand, the counting opportunities are virtually endless–count how many blocks in all, count how many by shape, color or size, count according to how it moves or doesn’t move…should I go on? Count backwards, skip count by 2’s, by 3’s, or by 4’s, play a game where some are taken away and then count to see how many were taken. I think that’s enough for now…
  9. Form letters–Create individual letters or create simple words. This is a great phonics activity for young ones. When teaching letters, it is always best to begin with the capital letters. Although you may find it difficult to create some of the letters using building blocks (I was not able to create the curved ones–“S”, “G”, “C”, etc.), the majority of them can be made.Building Block Activities
  10. Pretend Play–By far, the best way to use building blocks is to engage your child in pretend play. Boys and girls alike enjoy pretending and it is through this symbolic play that they learn about the world around them and develop their language.

Building Block Activities

 

 

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