Blocks are open ended materials that stimulate young imaginations, provide choices for discovery and invention, and promote the development of problem solving skills. One day a block maybe an airplane. The next day that same block in the hands of the same child can be a sofa for the structure he is building.
Building with blocks helps young children with Eye- hand coordination, visual perception, and large and small motor skills. It builds self-confidence and provides opportunities for creativity and dramatic play. These things occur naturally when children play with blocks.
We also find that working with blocks often depends children’s engagement with literature in literacy. A child may be inspired, say, to construct the three beers beds and chairs, pirate boat, or enchanted castle.
We encourage the littles to make their own signs for their creations. In these activities, children are exposed to print in meaningful ways.
Inviting children to re-construct buildings and other things they have seen is one way we encourage their thinking in relation to social studies. They can build Walmart. They can build McDonald’s. They work with the concepts behind maps and models, and as they build blocks cities, farms, and factories, they work out their own understanding of these complex sites in communities. Children also develop mathematical and scientific concepts, such as balance and gravity, as they work with blocks .
Blocks or engaging and fun for young children, of course. They are also invaluable tools for promoting children’s development on many fronts.