Blocks are one of the best toys children love to play with. They are reliable to keep toddlers entertained at home and school. It is fun to see how different colors, textures, and shapes allow children’s imagination to run wild. Children can build houses, mountains, boats, or people. Many early childhood educators believe that every classroom should have blocks available for children to create with.
A child can acquire valuable things and learnings while playing with blocks in the classroom or at home. For example, a child can learn how to create and experiment with his ideas. He also has the opportunity to develop his critical thinking skills, learn how to follow directions, recognize patterns and shapes, and improve his fine motor skills. All of these things are not only enjoyable but necessary to a child’s development as they grow. Below are some other things a child can learn while playing with blocks.
What do Children Learn Through Block Activities?
Blocks are ideal when playing fun imagination games. It allows children to use their imagination and creativity. Children can build anything they want, including animals, people, cities, or even their universe. A child’s imagination can transform blocks into anything they want without any limitations. Anything is possible with blocks!
Blocks teach kids to problem solve while playing. For example, if a child places a block in the wrong spot, he will have to figure out how to get it back where it belongs or how to make something work in that space. Through this process of trial and error, the child will develop problem-solving skills for future situations in life.
Through exploration, children can learn so much more than just the tangible things they can see around them every day. For example, they can explore the different colors and textures that come along with blocks. Blocks are an excellent tool for exploring how everything works because they are composed of various parts like the front, sides, top, and bottom. It allows children to learn about the parts of an object and how it works.
When playing with blocks, children will have conversations with their peers about what they see and every other thing they want to know about blocks. They may ask why some blocks are made one way while others are another way. They may wonder what each block can do or where it can be used in their world when they grow up. Thus, playing blocks also enhance your child’s listening skills.
Blocks are a way for children to express their feelings. They can build what they want and how they want it to feel. For example, if they have a happy day, they may create a sky with many cheerful colors and shapes. However, the sky could be utterly dark if they are sad, with only one or two stars shining down on their creations.
Engaging and Exciting Blocks Activities for Preschoolers
Block activities are great for children of all ages. It doesn’t matter how old they are; if they like to build, destroy and create something new after it’s gone, blocks will allow them to do so. Below are some block activities that can be used for a variety of ages and reasons:
1. Block Maze
It is a fun block activity that your child can enjoy. Block Maze is a great skill-building activity working in many areas of fine motor development. First, you may need building blocks, preferably the wooden type blocks, as they are sturdy and heavy, pompoms, ping pong balls, light plastic hollow core balls, and wide short straws. Next, you have to create a maze/racetrack shape; after that, allow your child to play, taking turns to blow his pompom around the maze using the straw.
2. Puzzle with Blocks
Puzzle with Blocks is an excellent activity for your child to learn about the area and spatial concepts. It is a quick breather activity that keeps your child busy and gets them thinking. Create a square or rectangle shape figure on the floor using the painter’s tape, then have your child fill the shape with wooden blocks. You can find further details by visiting Hands on As We Grow.
3. Shadow Match with Building Blocks
This super simple activity will work on developing your child’s spatial skills. First, build a tower with blocks, set up the flashlight on a chair or table to cast the perfect shadow on a butcher paper to get this activity started. Next, allow your child to trace it. After it is completed, have your child match the figure drawn on the paper with blocks. To know more about this activity, you may visit Hands On As We Grow.
4. Building Blocks Ice
It is a block-building activity that turns into a science lesson. First, you have to make the blocks from ice and keep them for almost an hour or two, so the water freezes up on top. Then, have them put them on the top of the cube and have your child build his tower from the blocks. Once he has made a nice tower, let him build something else on top of it. Let him repeat this process a couple of times until he can hold his ice.
5. Tower Building Contest
This fun activity from Mama Pea Pod is a great way to have some fun and experiment with your child’s building ability. It is not a contest, as there is no competition involved. It is simply taking turns to build the ‘most interesting and ‘fanciest’ tower.
6. Creating Alphabet Letters with Legos
Playing Duplos can be more fun when creating letters. It is an excellent idea to practice your child’s letter recognition and building skills. For example, let your child spell out his name or name of a thing in Duplos. Not only does your child learn about alphabet letters but also develop his patience in doing the activity.
7. Structure Stability Testing
Structure stability testing is a hands-on investigation that can teach about force, equilibrium, and engineering. It allows your children to experiment with loads, weights, and forces. Preschoolers need to learn about these things in a fun way. This activity will help them learn more about stability through the use of building blocks. You can find more details at Science Sparks.
8. Shape Matching with Blocks
It is another idea you can introduce to your child. It is a fun activity to develop your child’s color and shape recognition and practice building skills. Ripped off a sheet of butcher paper and trace different shapes of blocks with different colors. Give your child a job of trying to find the matching block that has the same color. To make it more fun, instruct your child to build a tower from the blocks he used. To get more details about this activity, try to visit Hands On As We Grow.
9. Measuring with LEGO
It is a perfect way to teach them about measuring, and they will get a kick out of it. Your child has to estimate the size of your foot, a book, or his dinosaur toy. Let your child record how many Lego blocks it would take to measure a foot and anything he wants to measure. To know more, please visit Nurturestore.
10. Building Lego Animals
Pick your child’s favorite animal, set out a box of Legos, and see what kind of animals he can come up with. Add details like color to make it more interesting. To know more from the experience of this activity, please visit Game of Bricks.
How To Choose The Best Blocks
Blocks are not only great for learning, but they are fun to play with. Therefore, it is important to know how to choose the right blocks to engage your child in learning while having a great time. Below is information you need to know on how you can select the best blocks for your child.
- Material of Building Blocks
Choosing what is safe for your child is essential for his safety and development. Choosing a moldable material like sand or clay may be an even better choice as it can be molded easily by children. Still, some materials will not be suitable for different ages of children. Plastic and wood blocks are two of the most durable choices to choose from. These types of blocks cannot bend easily. However, they will be able to withstand a lot of abuse and still work great. In general, these are the best blocks for preschoolers and younger children.
- The Shape of Blocks
The shape of the building block can vary from round to square, rectangular or flat square block shapes. When choosing a block shape for your child, it is essential to make sure that it is not too hard to make your child frustrated or too easy to get bored quickly.
- The Thickness of Blocks
It is essential to know how thick the blocks should be. Too thin blocks can give your child a hard time, while too thick blocks can make your child frustrated. The perfect thickness of the blocks depends on your child’s age and abilities at that particular time.
To sum it up, your child will benefit the most when you engage him in educational activities and allow them to use his imagination. It is never too early to introduce your child to make-believe play activities. In this way, he will be able to have enormous fun and develop and learn skills simultaneously. I hope these building block activities are fun and exciting for your child, especially if it’s his first time experimenting with different materials and learning while playing.