Our two kids, ages 2 & 8, love playing with building blocks sets, such as Mega bloks , Lego Coast Guard Patrol, Lego Creator 3in1 and Lego Duplo. They could play for several hours building and rebuilding any shape and structure that comes to their imagination.
Whenever we buy them a new set, they can’t contain their excitement, and seeing their happy faces brings us joy. Some of those kids building blocks sets are quite complicated being made up of several hundred pieces and sometimes needs help from us, parents. We take it as an opportunity to play along with our kids and have fun in the process.
With building blocks toys, it is easy to lose some pieces, especially the Lego building blocks for tweens, pieces are very small in size. And when our kids try to build the suggested structure in the manual, they cannot complete it because of the missing pieces. We, parents, would lose our temper and scold our kids for not taking care of their toys and remind them of how much money it costs to buy these toys. They would say “sorry” and promise to be more responsible with their toys. But then, we realize we shouldn’t be too hard on them. Losing a few pieces does not mean they cannot play with the building blocks sets anymore. In fact, it allows them to be more creative and build something completely new and original and when we see the product of their imagination, it truly is something to behold and be proud of. Jem’s JetBoat was a product of his own imagination, which he describes as a Jet & a Boat in one.
Benefits of playing with building blocks for kids
Playing with building blocks can help kids develop:
- Motor skills
- Hand-eye coordination
- Spatial skills or ability to visualize shapes
- Problems solving skills
The kids building blocks set that we buy usually comes with instructions or templates of structures that you can build with that set. When the kids try to match the structure to the template, certain skills are put into use. The kids need to analyze what they see, understand its relation to the other pieces and how it fits into the whole structure. They need to recognize patterns, count the required pieces, and sometimes have to imagine the 3-dimensional shapes being viewed at different angles. They are like engineers trying to build structures using a blueprint.
Kids can also play without a template where they create their own structures. They could be thinking of making a bridge or a house. They would learn by trial and error on how to assemble the pieces in a way that provides support to the whole structure. Since the blocks can be put together in a number of different ways, the kids can think of several solutions to a certain problem. They think like architects or designers as they try to make their structures not just functional but aesthetically pleasing to look at. Toy blocks can also help develop social skills through cooperative construction projects with other kids.
Check out this link for a more detailed discussion on the benefits of building blocks for kids.
Kid’s building blocks have evolved throughout the years. Lego building blocks have by far the most variety of materials, designs, and shapes. There are building blocks specially made for different age ranges. To see detailed product reviews suitable for each stage, please click each stage below :
- Toddlers: aged 1 – 3 years old, which are large building blocks, to make sure parts are non-choking hazards. They come in minimal pieces, typically under 20 pieces.
- Pre-Schoolers: aged 3 – 6 years old, which are a bit smaller than toddlers and has greater than 30 pieces
- Grade Schoolers: aged 6 – 12 years old, which are small in size and different shapes to be able to build a very realistic replica of just anything and has a number of pieces that range from a couple of hundreds to thousands.
- Teens & adults, aged 13+, has more than a couple of thousand pieces with more complicated design. Recent ones incorporated robotics in the designs.
What do you think of the Building Blocks toys? Please share your thoughts below! 🙂