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Who knew that something as simple as a set of building blocks could have such a profound impact on toddler development? In today’s post, I am going to share 5 reasons why building blocks are good for toddler development.
Building blocks are a classic child’s toy. If you look online or at any given store, you will find countless numbers of building block sets. From wood to plastic to silicone, there are more options to choose from than we could ever need.
Call me a purist, but when it comes to building blocks, wood is my material of choice. Perhaps because it’s classic, or perhaps it’s because I have a slight addiction to wooden toys now that I have a kid. Maybe I’m making up for missing out on things in my own childhood? Who knows. 🤷
I always knew that Jacob was going to be getting some building blocks when he got older. But I had no idea just how fun the blocks would be for me too! I think I enjoy them just as much as he does (and maybe sometimes more).
He’s not quite to the point where he’s building huge towers and full cities. For now, he mostly enjoys stacking 3-5 blocks at a time and then taking the blocks out of the box and putting them back in. He also loves piling them around his feet and then kicking his feet vigorously and seeing them scatter. He thinks that is delightful. Oh! And he is also a HUGE fan of knocking over anything I build. Lol!
Incorporating Montessori Methods into Our Home
I’ve always known that I wanted to incorporate alternative learning styles into our home when we had a child. I love aspects of a variety of educational styles from Montessori to Waldorf to traditional homeschooling. There are things about all of them that I truly love and believe in.
While our home is far from being a traditional Montessori or Waldorf home, we do try to incorporate methods from those styles into our daily lives, whether it be during playtime or just general life. This is also probably why I love wooden toys so much. Wooden toys are a classic Montessori tool.
Building blocks are regularly used in Montessori education. Recently, the company Lovevery reached out to me and asked if I would like to test some of their products, one of which was their popular block set. Of course, I said yes because who am I to turn down free toys for the little one?! Especially wooden ones! Lol!
I immediately snagged their block set and am so impressed by it. I’ll talk more about the Lovevery block set later in the post. For now, I want to share 5 reasons why building blocks are great for toddler development.
But First! Become an Observer.
Before we get into the 5 reasons why’d building blocks are good for toddler development, I wanted to make sure I mentioned one of the core Montessori tenants:
Much of what Montessori teaches is based on the observation of the child. Less structured teaching/instruction and more observation as to what the child naturally gravitates to. This is often called child-led education versus traditional adult-led styles like our public schools employ. It really allows the child’s aptitude and preferences to shine through so they can be encouraged and built upon throughout their entire education (and life).
When your child is playing with their blocks, step back and just observe. Of course, step in if there is a safety issue or extreme frustration starts to creep in (some frustration is normal and good for them, but if it escalates, it’s time to help). Other than that, let your toddler do what they want to do during this free playtime.
5 Reasons Why Building Blocks Are Good for Toddler Development
This is far from a comprehensive list. There are probably 100 more reasons why building blocks are so beneficial to toddler development. I’m just touching on a few of my favorite ones.
1. Building Blocks Help Cultivate Their Imagination and Creativity
Free play is an important part of a toddler’s day. Structured play has its place when you are teaching specific skills or techniques, but free play is beneficial for the brain because it allows the brain to focus on creativity and imagination. Building blocks are the perfect avenue for this. Give your child a set of blocks and just stand back and let them go to town. You’ll be amazed at the fun and creative things that come out of this time.
2. Building Blocks Help Encourage Problems Solving
Just like how building blocks encourage imagination and creativity, they also encourage problem-solving. You will see this over and over as you observe your child playing with the blocks. They may have a creative idea in their head about what they want to build, but then they have to figure out how to actually build it. And then what to do if certain things don’t go as planned. Switching out a small block for a large block. Or getting the block placed just right so they balance. All of this is problem-solving and it’s fantastic for their brain development.
3. Building Blocks Teach Basic Mathematics
When it comes to math, building blocks are an excellent tool. Not only do they teach a child about size, shape, and patterns but they also encourage the child to use other mathematical skills to figure things out. They can use the blocks to learn about adding, subtracting, counting, and sorting. Blocks also teach about spatial dimensions like length, width, and depth.
4. Building Blocks Help Build Self-Esteem
Who knew that something as simple as playing with blocks could improve self-esteem. But it can! Toddlers can learn that they have ideas and can implement those ideas in practical and creative ways. They can bring to fruition an idea from start to finish while overcoming obstacles along the way. All of this builds confidence and research shows that building confidence at an early age will help children throughout their entire life.
5. Building Blocks Help Improve Motor Skills and Hand-Eye Coordination
Nothing has been more fascinating to me than watching my little one play with blocks. I pay attention to the way he holds the blocks and maneuvers his hands. It has given me such an incredible perspective on motor skill development and how much we take for granted as adults. Things that are so easy for us that we don’t even think about them are frustratingly hard for a toddler. They have to learn how to hold the block so they can place it on the stack. They have to learn how to gently place a block (rather than slam it down or throw it on) so it balances and doesn’t knock the tower over. They have to learn how to move the block in their hand so it fits through the shape sorter lid. And so on… So many things that we take for granted! It’s fascinating.
That’s 5 of my favorite reasons why building blocks are great for toddler development. What other things would you add to this list?
Lovevery’s Block Set Review
Blocks have been such a fun tool for us in our home. As I mentioned above, I think I like playing with the blocks just as much as little Jacob does. While we do have another block set that I bought a while back, it pales in comparison to Lovevery’s Block set and we haven’t played with the old set since receiving this one.
Lovevery has designed possibly the most comprehensive block set ever designed. I had no idea how big this set was until we got it. The set contains 70 beautiful heirloom-quality pieces that work with each other in more than 20 stage-based activities. The colors are bright and fun and everything is non-toxic and meets or exceeds global safety standards for babies and children.
Not only can you build towers and cities using these blocks, but you can also use the shape sorter lid, turn the storage box into a car, make a domino trail (and then knock it over), thread wooden blocks, and so much more.
The things I love most about this set are:
- The bright colors. I’m a sucker for brightly colored wooden toys.
- The huge variety of activities in one set.
- The beautiful wooden storage box that keeps things neat and tidy.
- That everything is non-toxic and safe, unlike some of the cheap sets sold online and in some stores.
The cost of this block set is definitely more than you’d pay for a cheapo set on Amazon. But I personally believe it’s worth it for a few reasons:
- The quality is outstanding and will last years and years. This set could easily be handed down to other families or used for multiple children in your own family.
- The amount of activities you can do with one set is way more than you could do with your standard block set.
- Everything is non-toxic and eco-friendly. Lovevery has chosen quality wood and safe paints for children so you don’t have to worry about toxic exposure while your littles are playing.
If you have any questions about the block set or using blocks in your own home, please leave me a comment below! If you’d like to check out the Lovevery block set for yourself, you can do that via this link.
A big thank you to Lovevery for gifting us this incredible block set. We love it and will cherish it for years to come. We now understand why everyone speaks so highly of your brand. Your products and mission are fabulous. Thank you!