Wooden building blocks are THE classic wooden toy. You just can't beat them for versatility and the freedom that they give children to invent their own games, build their own structures and create their own stories. Here are 5 reasons why we love them!
1) Playing with building blocks is a great way to help develop early physical skills. With very young children just the act of picking them up and placing them helps with learning simple hand movements - grasping, twisting, moving an object from one place to another. For older children, balancing and building more complex structures helps to develop hand/eye coordination and precision.
2) They are great to use in imaginative play. Simple wooden blocks have no details or suggestions for what they could create. They encourage children to fill in the gaps themselves and create their own stories. Blocks can become people, animals, cars, or form part of a house, a river, a magical cave, a towering mountain! And once they've grown out of block play, the skills they've learnt to be creative and imagine will be used when playing imaginatively with their peers.
3) Playing together with blocks can be a wonderful way to demonstrate cooperation, working together to create something new, and respecting other people's work. Equally, playing with blocks can also foster the self confidence to work independently and persevere. They also offer a good opportunity to involve everyone in tidying up together - yay teamwork!
4) Create block art! How about using your blocks to create different shapes and patterns? You can order by colour, size, or shape and learn about symmetry and opposites. You can even use your blocks to create a picture - why not try drawing round them to create shapes or dip them in paint to make block prints (maybe don't use the Grimms and Raduga Grez for these bits though!).
5) Blocks are a brilliant and simple introduction to early maths, science and engineering. Use different sized and shaped blocks to start introducing ideas about measurement, classification, order and dimensions. Which is longer? Which blocks have corners and which are rounded? How are these blocks the same or different? Which do you think is heavier? What would happen if we tried to balance this shape on top of this one? How do we make the tallest tower? Then do some experiments to find out the answers! These concepts can then be build upon by using something more advanced like Tegu magnetic blocks (introducing ideas about magnetism, polarity and designing and building more complex structures).
Above all though, they are good, simple, traditional fun that the whole family can get involved with. You can find our selection of wooden blocks here