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Benefits of Block Play
Block play offers an open-ended, creative, and valuable learning experience available in every setting. It offers children freedom to explore, take apart and put back together any block creation they can think of. Here are some of the major skills that are learned by introducing block play at a young age:
Problem-solving skills. Building with blocks is problem solving at its best. Just about anything your child constructs will require some level of thinking about a solution.
Mathematics. Even in preschool, children learn math concepts through block play, such as sorting, counting, and symmetry.
Science. Many early science concepts are developed through block play. Children learn about gravity, weight, stability and balance as they build and explore.
Language & literacy. As children encounter new experiences through block play, there are countless opportunities for discussion and the development of new vocabulary especially when working along their peers. This is also a great opportunity for parents and educators to ask open-ended and thought-provoking questions.
Creativity and imagination. Blocks are loose parts, meaning children are free to combine and recombine them in countless ways. Children can use loose parts to make, build, experiment and invent. Loose parts have the flexibility to be combined, redesigned, pulled apart and put back together, carried around, manipulated, put into patterns or used as visual representations for children’s imaginations. Loose parts also invite children to explore and discover, imagine and create, enquire and experiment, play and tinker about as they build on their developmental skills in a supportive learning environment.
Gross and Fine Motor Skills. During block play, children develop their fine-motor skills and as they move and manipulate the blocks. As they sit at the table or on the floor, and place a block in their place they desire, they learn to master grips and manipulate their hands to allow them to build different creations. As they reach up high to place the block at the top of their tower, they are refining gross-motor skills like balance.
Spatial Reasoning. Children learn about spatial awareness when they move and arrange blocks. When children build structures and talk about them, they get a chance to use spatial vocabulary like “under”, “over”, “between”, “on top of” and “inside.
Hand-Eye Coordination and Dexterity. Building tall block towers takes patience, concentration, accuracy, and coordination. Preschoolers learn how to determineexactly where they should place a block to keep a tower balanced, and then use their hands to carry out that decision.
Team Work. When children build with their peers or siblings, they are developing social skills as they work together on building a really big block tower.
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