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Activity Ideas For Playing With Melissa and Doug Building Blocks
Building blocks naturally appeal to children, which is a very good thing because playing with blocks helps children develop many life skills essential for a happy life. These strengths include language, physical, cognitive and emotional development. Activity ideas focused on these areas, when planned, increase the potential for learning and all around growth in children.
Additionally, studies show that complex block building activities help children learn necessary math skills as they discover mathematical combinations and relate the numerical value of block quantities. This article offers a variety of activity ideas for playing with building blocks.
Very young children around 1-1/2 years of age and older can start playing with blocks. When making your choice of toys for this age group, try to avoid plastic styles as they tend to have uneven surfaces and can be difficult to assemble. This can create a frustrating learning experience for the young child. Great quality blocks are available from a variety of brands, including Melissa and Doug, Maxim, and Citiblock.
Activity ideas can be planned based on two categories: divergent and convergent problem solving skills. The various building block activities allow children to find a solution by trial and error until the correct working solution is identified. Puzzle building block activities are a good example of a different activity idea. Another example of this type of activity is Melissa and Doug’s Nesting and Stacking Block Alphabet. The set is designed for children from 2 years and older. The 10-piece set features visually appealing blocks in many colors. A storage box is included with this set to help children learn that cleaning is also an important aspect of responsible activity play. An activity idea for parents to try is to introduce your child to one or two numbers or letters of the alphabet at a time so that it is not too much so as not to overwhelm the child in the initial learning.
Rolling a plastic ball to knock over stacked blocks is also an activity idea to try. As each block is retrieved and collected, you can ask your child to identify the newly learned number of the letter of the alphabet to improve cognitive memory. You can also count how many blocks have fallen and count how many are still standing to encourage math building skills.
As children grow older and find stacking blocks a simple task, they move on to the convergent-based block type. Convergent play includes those activities that have many options for a solution, emphasizing the flexibility of creativity. Children learn to distinguish between block sizes and develop physically; using their arm muscles to reach and gather, which also uses hand-eye coordination. The Melissa and Doug Building Blocks Collection includes the 100 Wood Block Set for ages 3 and up. This set allows the child’s imagination to be the leader and in doing so, the cognitive skills in creating abstract concepts help boost their thinking skills.
Colorful Architectural Fantasy Building Blocks from Haba and sets from Melissa and Doug feature colored missing columns to help kids test their building imaginations in a block set with no color base. Here they can truly understand and describe the difference in every shape and function of building blocks when stacked or placed side by side — all put to the test of their individual imaginations. Brands like Citiblock present a versatile way to use flat block styles to build structures. Maxim toy trains and wooden unit blocks on wheels from Melissa and Doug have wheels to introduce young minds to the concept of rolling wheels.
All of these toys invite parents to get involved by creating pretend play scenarios where they can suggest a project to build, such as a house or barn. Include appropriately scaled items, such as animals and people, to encourage ideas from your child. Set aside story time and building block play so your child can understand how the story unfolds using all the senses and to stimulate creativity in different stories.
The price of building blocks is affordable and generally, cheap when compared to other toys. And while many toys may come with bells and whistles, most tend to appeal to just one or two of the sight and sound senses, while building blocks help children experience cognition, learn social skills, and take them on a journey. without restrictions.
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