In today’s world of video games, smartphones, and robotic toys, it may be difficult to interest your child in building and construction toys. Even though you might have to sit down with your child and show them how to play with these toys, the time and effort will be worth it. Building and construction toys work with the imagination, motor skills, spatial skills, and eye-hand coordination.
It is important for both teachers and parents to design an environment to enhance and encourage problem-solving. This needs to start at a young age and continue as long as possible. Building and construction toys help a child build the capacity for divergent and creative thinking. They can also help enhance and strengthen language and social skills.
Perhaps the primary benefit is that building and construction toys allow children to integrate their construction or building scenarios into their imagined worlds. Playing with these types of toys may also help develop their math skills. Creative play with building and construction toys needs to be engaging and stimulating. This helps ensure you child will continue to use the toys and enjoy playing with them.
There are several research studies which indicate a link between construction play and spatial skills. In one study, researchers observed 51 preschoolers. They observed that kids who showed more interest in construction, creating more elaborate projects, also performed better on a spatial intelligence standardized test. There have been other studies reporting similar findings. Building and constructing projects help a child test spatial relationships and rotate object mentally. These types of activities could certainly contribute to advanced spatial abilities later on in life.
Math Skills And Toy Blocks
There are several studies linking block play with math skills. One study demonstrated that more complex play with LEGOS in preschoolers who were age 4 predicted higher mathematics work later on in high school. Another study found that there were links between a preschooler’s current math skills and their ability to recreate specific structures. This same report also found similar correlations among adolescents and teens.
Creative And Divergent Problem-Solving and Toy Blocks
There are two types of problems that most people face. These are divergent and convergent problems. A divergent problem is one which may be solved in different ways while a convergent problem only has one solution. Since children play with and put together blocks in many different ways, block play is a type of divergent problem solving. This means that children who play with blocks are actually practicing solving complex problems which helps them think more creatively.
Cooperative Play And Blocks
More research indicates that children become more socially savvy and cooperative when they work with others to create a building project. There are also indications that children who work together on building something also tend to develop quality friendships.
Building and construction play is about both mechanical and creative play. While children may be practicing engineering skills while constructing a project, they are also developing their ability to think ahead and imagine how the final project will appear.