Blocks are play materials that come from solid pieces which children used to build different shapes and structures depending on what comes into their imagination at the time of playing.
Block play is a process of learning through playing blocks, be it in smaller or bigger sizes. It is also defined as open-ended play, meaning that there are no rules that are needed to follow and that children are fully in control of the activity. It promotes imaginative and constructive play in children.
Block play doesn’t require a lot of adult supervision as compared to other activities that you can offer to children while at home. As a parent, you can also benefit from this play. They are busy playing while you can continue to do important tasks at home.
Block play is a good activity that can give a lot of benefits to our children.
Lately, my two kids are having fun with this activity and I can see that there are really good benefits to it. With blocks they can do sorting, counting, building up a tower or village, fill in blocks according to shapes and colors, representations, pattern making, create imaginative animals, vehicles, etc.
Below are the benefits of playing with blocks for children:
- It helps them to be self-reliant, they rely on their capability to create something. And are very happy when they complete a simple structure that they want to build. It uplifts their mood and therefore increases their self-confidence.
- Block play helps with their communication skills. When they play with other children, they tend to talk or communicate about the structure that they are building or are about to build. They also ask their playmates what they are building, and will share ideas as to how to make it more beautiful.
- Helps them develop friendships by helping each other in finishing their creation.
- Increases their attention span, they learn how to be patient and kind as they stay in constructive play for an extended time or until they finish building their preferred structure.
- Helps them to be cooperative with their playmates. They learn to collaborate with their playmates through building block structures together. They learn how to take turns and share materials needed by each other.
- Teaches them about balance. They learn to make way on how to avoid falling off their structure.
- It helps them mathematically. Through block play they gain some understanding of 3D shapes, counting blocks as they add or eliminate from the structure that they are making. Helps them learn how to describe shapes, colors, positions, and sizes as they build different structures. They also explore measure, symmetry, and different patterns.
- Ideal play to improve a child’s cognitive development. They are building their cognitive skills by simply sorting, designing, and stacking different towers.
- It supports our child’s development in terms of social skills, creativity, and abstract thinking. They are creative in doing role-playing or storytelling about their output.
- Improves their fine motor skills, for example in positioning and manipulating blocks precisely.
Block play is already known for its simplicity and self-directed play to motivate children to take action according to their will.
They are a good idea to entertain children, making them busy while learning how to create something. But take note that even though block play is a less supervised activity for kids as mentioned, it doesn’t mean we have to be complacent or we can already leave them for long hours without supervision. We still need to look after them from time to time to make sure that they are in a good condition.
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