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.