Tags: building blocks
It is no coincidence that you often hear that key learning stages are referred to as the 'building blocks' of life. Building blocks have the most marvellous property that while a single block is uninspiring, small and unnoteworthy, put together with many others it can create the most fantastic palaces or castles, the greatest zoos or fun parks or the most wonderful houses. A building block is a unit of a much larger creation, and the possibilities of what a pile of blocks can become are limitless.
The same is true when it comes to learning fundamental principles. Learning letters is the first step on the way to learning to read and write; learning numbers is the first step to learning complex mathematics. Craft play includes many fundamental principles that help to develop fine and gross motor skills, as do sports and games. Each small step is repaid with much more value by way of long term reward.
Active children who participate in a healthy mix of games, craft and learning will be collecting 'building blocks' through life. These building blocks will make well rounded individuals, and in the same way that traditional building blocks can make almost anything, so fundamental learning blocks will create a child capable of almost anything they put their mind to.
Children learn in different ways and one of the ways in which they learn is by applying logic and deduction, essentially learning through exploring. To nurture this approach to learning, introduce simple puzzles and toys that encourage thinking and problem solving:-
- Touchy feely: books and toys with different textures allow a baby to feel and discover how different surfaces feel.
- Shape sorters: these come in all manner of designs, from simple puzzle boards to shape sorters built into ride on toys. Shape sorters help to encourage logical thinking as babies slowly work out how to match shapes with their matching slots.
- Building blocks: whether old fashioned wooden blocks or construction toys such as Duplo or Megablocks, children can explore how objects interact and cause and effect with physical items.
You can boost the logical power of older children by stimulating thinking with mental challenges:-
- Quizes: older children can learn by asking questions and you can encourage learning by asking questions back to them.
- Puzzles: 'spot the difference', mazes, simple word searches and small sudoku puzzles can be enjoyed by children from the age of 4 upwards.
- Obstacle courses: create an obstacle course in the garden on a grand scale, introduce challenges such as how to cross a crocodile pit or how to go from one end of the garden to the other without stepping on the ground - problem solving is all part of logical thinking.
The ability to learn through logical thining is a skill that will assist a child throughout their lives - encouraging this style of thinking from early on will create a solid foundation on which they can grow with time.