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We all know that playing with building toys is beneficial for kids but did anyone ever tell you why?
Building toys have significant cognitive and academic benefits for children of all ages. Not only are they fun and exciting, but they help kids develop a wide variety of skills and abilities. They help prepare kids for school, sports and life! I guess you can say that these toys are the “building blocks” for success!
Did you know that playing with toys such as Legos, blocks and K’Nex helps kids develop now AND in the future?
There are both short and long term positive effects of playing with construction toys. For instance, kids can learn basic colors and shapes which are rote and immediate, while also learning visual-spatial awareness which will help develop future reading and writing skills. Kids will also learn to cooperate with others as well as problem solve. Both skills are needed in childhood and as an adult.
Here is my list of the benefits of playing with building/construction toys:
Enhances spatial awareness: Building toys help kids enhance their visual-spatial skills which is crucial for reading readiness.
Encourages thinking and reasoning: These skills are what make children become well-rounded, independent and successful adults!
Involves focus and patience: Children need to work slowly and carefully to be successful at creating their designs.
Sparks the imagination: Building toys allow children to create their own fantasy worlds and stories. Using the imagination boosts cognitive, academic, language and social growth.
Builds confidence: Once that masterpiece is finished, children are so proud of their accomplishments. It increases their belief in themselves.
Helps develop problem solving skills: When building, kids need to decide what will or won’t work. They have to think quickly and readjust designs when needed.
Encourages children to use their minds instead of relying on technology: Kids today rely too much on technology so it is always beneficial to play with toys that focus on hands-on, interactive fun that requires thinking skills!
Can lead into pretend and imaginary play: Once the castle, fort, city or whatever your child creates, is complete, then the story telling and pretend play begins! This is great for social and language development.
Introduction to science: Through building, kids learn to experiment and make new discoveries about how things work
Helps develop math skills such as counting, adding, subtracting and basic geometry.
Encourages cooperative play: Often times kids play with their peers when building so it helps foster teamwork and cooperation.
Are your kids not ready to build?
Some kids are either too little or just not interested in building. That’s okay because building/construction toys can be used in other ways to enhance learning. Here are some ideas:
- Label the colors and shapes of the building materials
- Sort by shape, color and size
- Count the blocks/pieces
- Use the blocks or Lego pieces as manipulatives for math word problems. For example, you have 10 Legos and take 3 away, how many do you have left?
I hope these benefits have encouraged you to head out and buy some building/construction toys. If a limited budget is a problem, then use household items such as:
- Various sizes of bowls
- Cardboard boxes (including shoeboxes)
- Cans (including empty peanut butter jars and coffee cans)
- DVD cases
Have fun building, creating and playing! Building and construction toys can be purchased at amazon.com!