Build, tear down, reconstruct, deconstruct – repeat! Building toys are a must for any child in any situation. Whether in a playroom, a beach, a classroom or backyard, quality construction toys are a means of allowing creativity to blossom and grow! From Toddlers through to adults (ok, we use the blocks too), constructions toys are a delight!
When a toddler first uses wooden blocks, they experiment with the feel, how heavy they are, whether their hands can grasp the different shapes and sizes. Fine motor skills of grasping blocks are preparing their little hands and minds for the lessons to come: comparisons between small and large, heavy and light, horizontal and vertical to name a few.
Then comes the planning. A good structure requires some planning as to what makes a good base to build onto. Maybe there is a bridge to make to connect a home to a castle. Perhaps one block can do the work of many. When the child develops from a sensory play to a formational play, then they are forming enclosed structures for their toys and their lives. All of these possibilities go through your little one’s mind and the synapses are forming!
When a child is about five years of age, Walter Frew et al wrote in the article “Constructive Play” that “Block play shows the opportunity for conceptual understanding in the area of structural engineering as children explore forces of gravity, compression, tension and the relationship between materials and successful design to achieve balance, stability, and even aesthetic sensibility.”