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Why Building Blocks is One of the Best Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Aside from those colorful toys that rattle when shaken, one of the first toys toddlers are usually given are building blocks, multi-shaped toys that they love to pile on top of each other or just throw around.
But why is building blocks one of the best toys recommended for babies? Why are they appropriate as one of the first toys for toddlers?
Some parents are tempted to give more advanced toys to their children because they believe that children will learn more if exposed to more advanced toys earlier. Because they want their children to be at least at par with the other kids when they attend school, they expose their kids to a conditioned learning which may not be beneficial for children. When given complex toys at an early age, children miss out on learning some much needed fundamental skills that they will acquire only if they were first presented with simpler playthings. This is one reason why building blocks is one of the best first toys for toddlers.
Building blocks is not a complex toy
These simple toys do not overload children’s brains with lots of information. Building blocks develop their mental capabilities more naturally.
A child’s brain is still young. The body still continues to wire and rewire it to make his way of thinking more appropriate to his environment. With building blocks, his brain develops more homogenously. When given more complex toys, the brain tends to develop specific areas of the brain used in playing with the complex toy while leaving out other areas undeveloped. With simple toys, all the areas are developed simultaneously.
Children learn about colors and shapes
Brightly colored building blocks help children distinguish the basic colors in their environment. They develop a preference for the things they like based on these colors. They also learn to associate objects like the color green for leaves and yellow for the sun.
They also learn about squares, circles and triangles. Exposing them to these basic shapes help children associate triangles for roofs or mountains and circles for wheels or the sun. Combined with colors, these will help them draw simple objects.
Children learn about stability, spatial relationships and cause and effect through them
When children pile blocks on top of each other, they learn what causes them to fall down. They learn what positions are better for objects to stand and how to make them stand the way they want to. They also learn to remember where they put things and how they can locate them.
They learn about cause and effect when they try to move blocks or throw them. They learn basic concepts about physics, like gravity when they drop things down. They also learn that no two objects occupy the same space at the same time.
They teach them to sort
Children may have their own reasons for grouping things that we, as adults, may not fully understand. But the way they sort things teach them to reason. They learn to compare and find out differences between objects. They also learn to place things in their proper places.
Building blocks develops their fine motor skills
Fine motor skills make the little muscles of the fingers and the eyes move. Through playing with building blocks by holding, spinning or rotating them, children develop good eye-hand coordination. The skill, in turn, is used for acquiring more knowledge as they grow, when reading books and even when eating.
They learn to be creative
Through play, they learn to use things to symbolize other objects. Kids learn to use square blocks to represent trucks or beds. They hold objects up in the air and imagine them to be airplanes or birds. Later on, these imagination and creative skills will help them improvise and use tools that they need. Creativity will help them in achieving what they want.
As parents who do not want to interfere with our kid’s development, it is always best to let them learn the basic skills on their own. This way, children do not lose focus and, much more, they do not stop until they think that they have mastered how to play with the toy.
Kids are serious when playing and they exert considerable effort in them because in their view, they are developing a new skill. Sometimes, a mere interruption of their game causes them to lose interest in what they are doing. What parents can do is to present them with toys that might encourage them to play.
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