(StatePoint) Playtime is important to a child’s development. Offering many social and emotional benefits, it helps lay the foundation for children’s future success and prepares them for school. One classic toy — building blocks — should be incorporated into every child’s playtime. Here are three reasons why:
• Building blocks build skills: Playing with building blocks hones hand-eye coordination, while helping to strengthen hands and grip, skills that will be needed in the classroom, when playing sports and beyond. Additionally, building blocks encourage kids to be creative and to learn how to problem solve. When working together with a friend or caregiver, they also offer opportunities for cooperation, which can foster language development and communication skills. Be sure to talk to your kids about what they are building!
• Building blocks are getting smarter: Like so many household items, building blocks are getting smarter and more innovative, and this means more opportunities for both fun and learning. In fact, LeapFrog’s first-ever line of smart building blocks — LeapBuilders — was just introduced. Combining technology and interactive, curriculum-based content, these playsets feature an electronic Smart Star cube and double-sided learning blocks that respond with fun sounds and educational songs on topics such as colors, animals, numbers, letters and more.
Among those in the new line-up is the ABC Smart House, an interactive 61-piece house-themed block set that enhances building play with learning content for a unique, engaging experience. A fun way to familiarize kids with their ABCs, kids can also use the learning blocks from other sets in the interactive Smart Star to unlock additional responses. Recommended for ages 2 and up, LeapBuilders is available at major retailers. For more information, visit leapfrog.com/leapbuilders.
• Building blocks grow with a child: Unlike many toys that children outgrow, building blocks will grow with your child through various stages of development, and you will likely notice your children interact with building blocks differently as they acquire new skills and knowledge. For example, at a younger age, kids may use building blocks to test the concept of gravity. Later, they will use building blocks to create larger complicated structures.
Preparing a preschooler for school success can be fun, especially when you put an emphasis on playtime. When seeking out toys that help children reach developmental milestones, be sure to include building blocks, especially those that take learning a step further.