If you are heading out to the toy store to pick up some educational toys for your toddler, you’re about to get bombarded by rows and rows of endless choices. Although the blinky, noisy toys may grab your attention, don’t overlook the blocks. There are several different types of blocks to choose from — and not only are no batteries required, blocks also offer your child an educational experience while he plays.
Although wooden blocks may sound boring, you’d be surprised how versatile they can be. You can find these classic cube blocks in a wide range of sizes. Some are plain wood, while others are brightly colored. You can find wooden blocks with animal designs, alphabet letters or pictures printed on them. These blocks not only provide hours of stacking fun, you can spell words out for your toddler with them or play an “I-Spy” game with the pictures on them.
Construction and Building Blocks
Let your toddler show off his budding engineering and architectural skills with a box of building and construction blocks. According to Parenting Science, these blocks help strengthen a toddler’s motor skills, hand-eye coordination, spatial skills, creativity and social skills. This category of blocks includes the large plastic interlocking brick-type blocks, notched miniature wooden logs and various other building block sets.
Blocks don’t just come as rectangles or squares; you can find all sorts of various shaped blocks. According to Purdue University, young children have an inborn ability to learn about shapes and they strengthen their understanding of shapes by playing with them. The blocks that come in various shapes can be sorted according to specific shape, color or size. They can also be sorted into a pail with a lid that has various shape holes in the top. Your toddler can pick up a shape, look at it and try to fit it into the appropriate lid shape to get it to fall into the bucket below. This is also a sneaky, yet educational, way to get him to clean up his blocks.
Who says that puzzles have to be flat? There are cube puzzle blocks on the market that can be stacked or laid flat on a surface so the various pictures on the blocks line up to complete the puzzle. Playing with puzzle blocks promotes problem-solving skills and logical thinking.