Building Kids’ Skills With Building Block Toys
All over the world, we have seen generations of kids play with building block toys while growing up. In fact, the first documented wooden toys blocks—or building blocks—date back hundreds of years. Nowadays, there are many variations of building blocks suitable for different age groups, with more than 1.4 billion people playing with toy blocks at some point in their childhood.
Building blocks are suitable for kids of all ages: from toddlers who begin with big and easily stackable shapes to entire building block landscapes that demand immense creativity, focus, and patience for more experienced builders. Several aspects such as size, color, and stackability offer almost endless possibilities for kids. In this article, we focus on what playing with building blocks can teach kids, its benefits, and how we can encourage building block play.
Fine motor skills and coordination: Lifelong skills
For toddlers and younger kids, playing with building blocks can significantly contribute to the development of their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. These are important skills that we use, often subconsciously, in many daily tasks such as writing, driving, or playing sports. Simply grabbing, stacking, and playing with toy bricks helps kids understand how they can successfully interact with their environment. Parents may use this opportunity to monitor their children’s development and emphasize the application of certain motor skills as needed.
Encouraging children to engage in building block play early on can help them develop skills that they will need throughout their lives. Additionally, this can create happy memories of playing together—as many of us already have!
Practicing cognitive abilities with toy blocks
Playing with building blocks throughout one’s childhood can help increase one’s problem-solving abilities. With building blocks, children can apply the trial-and-error method constantly while building, which enables them to find creative solutions to issues they face. In this manner, they enhance their cognitive flexibility to identify the important aspects required to solve a problem.
Additionally, processing different blocks, structures, and relations nurtures spatial reasoning, a particularly crucial skill for future designers, engineers, or architects.
Collaborative play with building blocks boost children’s social skills and creativity
Just like real-life constructions, playing with building blocks yields the best results when there is collaboration involved. Kids can exchange ideas and pieces and find out that helping one another is often the best way to move forward! But the collaboration does not stop with the exchange of ideas and tools. Due to the millions of possibilities of construction with block toys, kids can connect their creations to build together. They can connect their buildings to make a city or combine parts to make new creations from scratch.
This is also the point during which parents can step in. Providing the guidance and structure that kids require and assisting them when they face obstacles encourages children to become passionate builders.
Once the building is complete, the playing can begin. With almost endless possibilities, there are also endless scenarios, real and fictional, to play out. With building blocks, creativity and fantasy have free rein.
Building block toys as timeless collectibles
Overall, building block play provides a great opportunity for kids to playfully practice and strengthen several skills important to their development. Millions of kids continue to grow up with building blocks. Many of us at UNGA did too! That’s why it is a treat for us to develop playful concepts made of bricks that children can play with while celebrating supermarkets worldwide.
Our Little Checkers Building Block Campaign run with the South African retailer Checkers in 2019 was nominated to the Loyalty Magazine Awards 2020. The campaign enabled families to collect a full mini Checkers store meant to stay in families’ homes for generations. It stood out with its strong emotional appeal for parents and kids, which allowed Checkers to connect with their shoppers while driving traffic in their stores. Learn more.