It’s easy to think of a play-of-the-day today, the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday – some block and construction play. We still admire his buildings in various cities across the continent. His reputation and teachings are admired internationally as one of the greatest architects. Does this photo of Frank Lloyd Wright’s lamp remind you of wooden blocks?
Blocks and other construction toys are a way children can engage in building and creating. Both boys and girls enjoy playing with these materials and will do so from the time they are babies, to teenagers and beyond. Need a substute for a fidget spinner? Put out a bowl of Lego and keep hands, and more importantly, minds busy too.
The notes below are from an earlier post on block and construction ply with ideas to try:
There’s a wonderful variety of construction toys using plastic, like Lego and Lasy; wood as in blocks; metal, both new and vintage; and even sturdy paper and cardboard. Some construction sets are specialized for machines, race car tracks, trains, houses, marble runs, creatures, and robots. Just as varied are the kinds of fun and learning. When kids play with these toys they are:
- manipulating, connecting, stacking, balancing, etc. This strengthens the small muscles in hands and fingers and gives children the opportunity to develop eye-hand coordination.
- visualizing, that is making pictures in the mind. As an adult, have you ever had to look at an object and then had to choose from 3 or 4 pictures what it would look like from the other side? This is quite a challenge and this skill develops from lots of experiences and play.
- exploring space and measuring. Blocks of some sizes might fit in a space but some will be too big or too small.
- creating and imagining. These are powerful skills, at the very heart of innovation, that begin when kids play.
- solving-problems, organizing and planning. We often consider these as “work” skills but, to kids, they are fun and part of play.
When children play with these toys together, they practice negotiating, cooperating and other social skills. Kids are using language to express themselves, explain, and ask questions. Both boys AND girls enjoy playing with these toys!! Ordinary household items, like sponges and plastic food containers, can be construction toys. Check the recycling.
Wood scraps are not as common as they used to be, but they are another item kids enjoy for block and construction play. Architecture may not be the future path for your child, but building creating are important as life-skills and play outlets for adults. Are they part of yours?