Wooden blocks probably feature among the oldest fun and game equipment for children. Parents today have nearly forgotten such classical toys due to the wide availability of hi tech toys and games.
Does a baby need wooden blocks? Do they encourage imaginative thinking and exploration? The fact is that many parents are returning to traditional toys. Wooden blocks are a good option, as long as you have the patience and determination to teach your baby how to play with those.
Blocks can be small, large featuring pictures or rounded. Today, a plastic alternative is offered to wood but it might be wiser to invest in natural materials.
Wooden Blocks and the Young Baby
At the age of six months to one year, the baby will start playing with nearby objects. Getting your baby different sizes and colors of wooden blocks is an excellent idea.
If the child is left alone, refrain from providing sharp edged wooden blocks. These are perfectly safe if you are supervising the game.
Show your baby the difference between colors and sizes. Speak to the baby to work on cognitive skills. Mix different types of cubes. Together with your baby, build a wooden block tower, using different colors and sizes.
Let the child sit in a baby chair and play with the cubes. Most babies will throw the blocks around, watching where and how they will fall.
Wooden Blocks at the Ages of One to Three Years
Your child will grow and continue learning through the games you play together.
At this age, you can get wooden blocks in different shapes – rectangles, squares, cylinders and prisms.
Your child will begin constructing towers and houses alone. Give some directions and creative construction ideas to encourage the creation of more complex shapes. Think of something new each time, keeping the baby challenged and entertained.
Once the game is over, teach your child how to order cubes and put them in the toy box. You can have a box, a basket or any other container to keep toys in order.
Wooden Blocks and Older Children
Some parents believe that after the age of three, the baby will get bored of the blocks. This depends entirely on the manner in which a child is stimulated to play.
You can challenge your child to a game. Distribute cubes so that both of you have the same block. Start constructing something and give your baby the child to replicate and create the same shape. Switch roles. Let your child imagine and make the construction and try to create the same one.
Teach your child how to build doll houses or a garage out of the wooden blocks. These will be used to house other toys.
You can also work on patterns. Teach your child how to create color patterns in the construction or how to alternate between large and small blocks. The two of you could construct a pyramid. Each level will be made of cubes smaller than the ones used in the construction of the previous layer.
Wooden blocks will challenge your child and test creativity. Remember that it is important to get involved. Stimulate your baby and make the games more complex as your child gains skills. This way, you will encourage creativity and logical thinking.