The one toy every child should have
Block play enhances children’s development on so many levels. Here are 12 ways in which the humble block can act as a powerful learning tool…
If I told you that a simple set of blocks can enhance your child’s development more than almost any other toy on the market, would you be surprised? Well, there’s a ton of research that highlights the amazing developmental benefits of block play and the National Association for the Education of Young Children believes that every classroom should have a set.
Blocks have been shown to help children develop their:
- Gross and fine motor skills
- Hand-eye coordination
- Language and literacy skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Spatial reasoning
- Mathematical skills
- Cognitive flexibility (quickly shifting your focus from one concept to another)
- Scientific reasoning
- Social skills
- Self-esteem and self-expression
While young children will benefit from having an adult demonstrate how to use blocks and engage in building with them, toddlers and older children will reap more developmental rewards if they’re left to engage in free play with their blocks.
Parents can enhance their children’s block play by allowing them to explore their own way of doing things, asking open-ended questions such as “What do you think would happen if you removed this block?”, inviting them to create stories around their constructions, and encouraging them to keep trying if their projects don’t turn out as they’d planned.
But with choices ranging from simple wooden blocks to complex building sets, how are you to know which is the best block set for your child? Here are four of our favorites for different age groups.
Ages 1 and up
We love that KORXX Brickle blocks are made from sustainable cork trees and free from any harmful substances. The beveled edges make them safe for the tiniest of tots, and the polished cork surface means that they’re easy to grip and stack. The set includes 17 blocks.
Ages 2 and up
Take it to the next level for your toddler with KORXX Form. Featuring 28 brightly colored cork blocks in seven different shapes, they’ll allow your child’s imagination to run wild. The sky is the limit!
Teach your Tot about the universe, all the while having fun playing with these colorful Uncle Goose Planet Blocks. Each block features a planet’s symbol, name, and number of moons plus its location, and distance from the sun.
Ages 3 and up
The beautiful Wooden Story Natural Blocks set includes 54 blocks made from FSC certified wood and a solid wood tray to store them in. They’re eco-friendly, non-toxic, and finished with beeswax and botanical oils.
Ages 4 and up
Uncle Goose’s Women Who Dared Blocks are lovingly handcrafted out of Midwestern basswood and finished with non-toxic inks. They feature illustrations and important facts about 32 daring women who changed the world. Hurrah!