All the research on preschool-aged children shows that most of their learning is done through play. This is why so many teachers value the use of manipulatives and sensory play when teaching math and literacy skills. This is also why the classroom is so heavy on dramatic play and other imagination-building toys.
Did you know that the basic set of blocks actually has a special function in the classroom? One of the most basic toys is one that should be found in each and every classroom across the globe. This simple toy is one that can help a child to develop tons of essential skills.
When kids play with toy blocks they develop problem-solving skills. They have to visualize what it is that they want to build and then develop a plan to achieve that goal.
They help to develop and reinforce many of the basic math concepts that students should learn. From basic shape recognition to understanding symmetry and balance, children strengthen and develop these concepts as they are playing with them.
Fine and Gross Motor Skills
Any time that children are working on stacking or building different items, they are developing their motor skills. Motor skills are an important part of the child’s development. In fact, they will continue to develop these skills into upper elementary.
Creativity and Imagination
When children play with these toy blocks, they are essentially creating something out of a blank slate. That takes a good bit of imagination and thinking outside of the box a little bit helps them to develop their creativity.
Social Skills and Teamwork
Children who play together or work together to build a shared design are not only working on social skills, but they are also learning how to be good team players. This skill is really hard for smaller children and developing this skill is one of the many benefits to having your child attend a brick and mortar school versus daycare.
Lastly, they strengthen a child’s understanding of both the scientific process and some scientific concepts. The notion of gravity, for example, is explored when a child drops his/her wooden toy blocks or plastic toy blocks. While the child may not know that the concept is referred to as gravity, he/she is still experimenting with the concept.
Children also have opportunities to try out one of their own theories and test whether or not it will work when playing with them. By doing so, they are strengthening their understanding of how scientific research works.
Wooden or plastic block toys are one of the staples of a classroom. Through playing with them, kids are able to develop a well-rounded understanding of the world around them. They are one of the easiest and most simple toys to work into a preschooler’s daycare. By simply providing a space for a set or two of these easy toys, you can help develop over ten essential skills.
There is no wrong choice when choosing which blocks to buy. Some teachers and parents like having a combination of both which allows children to experience a different feeling when handling plastic or wood. Others prefer plastic since they are lighter and can be cleaned easier. Wooden blocks tend to be sturdier and have a better feel when children are building things. Ultimately there is no wrong or right choice.