Block Build Brains

Seven years ago I bought a set of wooden blocks.  I knew it would provide my children with the opportunity for hours of creative play.  They would be able to build, tear down, work collaboratively, and some much more with these slabs.

The Melissa and Doug set is not colorful, but they come in a variety of shapes and sizes which causes children to use their visual perception when putting them together.  They use fine motor skills to grasp each block.  It requires the use of gross motor skills to squat/sit/stand in order to maneuver.  Language skills are practiced when talking to a peer who is helping with construction.  Cognitive abilities are honed when children problem solve around why the blocks fall down in specific arrangements.  And this is the short list of the benefits of blocks.

The researcher noted in this article, Dr. Dimitri Christakis, talks about the use of blocks in comparison to screen time.  What is not mentioned specifically, is the game Minecraft.  It uses some similar concepts, but it is virtual.  And it just isn’t the same.  I am not knocking the game all together, but don’t be fooled into thinking that screen games offer the same value as real toys.

“Part of the reason for that is that the more rapidly sequenced the scenes, the more distracting it is. It’s taxing to the brain to process things that happen so fast even though we’re capable of doing it. And there’s emerging science now in older children that watching such fast-paced programs diminishes what we call “executive function” immediately afterward. It tires the mind out and makes it not function as well immediately after viewing it.”

Take out the wooden blocks, get out the Duplos, and line up the Lego sets.  Blocks in a variety of forms build brains!!!

Read this article for the details of which I write.

http://www.wbur.org/npr/385264747/q-a-blocks-play-screen-time-and-the-infant-mind

Published by

Joyeux Parenting

I am the proud mother of two beautiful children and have lived in Boston for most of my life. I have over twenty years of experience as a Child Development Specialist working with new families, pediatricians at Mass General Hospital, and Early Intervention. I have a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding the challenges related to breastfeeding, behavior management, picky eaters, discipline, sleep, and development. I love being a wife and mother and sharing my experiences-the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am constantly learning about new evidence based information as it relates to parenting. Most importantly, I think it is crucial to recognize that we all make mistakes and learn from them. I am a firm believer that humor is essential as you navigate the world. Parenting should be full of joy and that is why I started my business Joyeux Parenting. Thank you for allowing me to share my experiences with you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s