Lego and Blocks Star Play

Even if kids haven’t seen the movie, Star Wars shows up in their play. For a play-of-the-day, young kids might like some Lego and blocks star play. Children do not need to have the special kits and other toys to have fun. We can let them play with what they have available. Imaginations will often figure out substitutes.

lego star playConstruction toys are definitely hands-on, but brains are as busy as hands. We don’t have Superman’s x-ray vision but if we could see the activity in the brain we’d notice that kids are making a tremendous number of neural connections. Both brains and hands are needed to stack, balance, and make rows and lines. Children may have a picture in their memory banks of how space vehicles look and try to recreate them. This will involve a lot of trying and comparing what they have constructed to what they remember or visualize. Unlike Yoda’s words, “There is no try,” kids will try constantly. Hands, brains, and eyes are all trying to coordinate their actions.

As grownups, we often try and see if something will fit in a space. For kids, spatial awareness and manipulation develops from the trying. This is also called play and kids will explore where blocks and toys will go. Eyes can measure a space but only trying will confirm if something fits or not. Matching sizes and shapes are skills needed for math and science, even if Yoda says, “Size matters not.”

block and construction playBrains are also organizing, planning, and solving problems when kids play with blocks, Lego, and other construction materials. These are critical skills for all kinds of learning. Besides construction toys, there may be some out-of-this- world treasures in the recycling or craft junk, such as plastic containers, cereal boxes, etc. Imagining and creating are the heart of innovation.

Lego and blocks star play appeals to kids of various ages, both boys and girls. Although we can’t see how active it is during play, wouldn’t you agree with Yoda, “Truly wonderful the mind of a child is?”




Construction Toys Are For Connecting & Kindergarten Readiness

developing kindergarten readinessMany children’s toys are for connecting and building fun; plus, they help kids connect and build all kinds of learning and kindergarten readiness.

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:

  • developing kindergarten readinessmanipulating, 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.
  • developing kindergarten readinesscounting and making groups, matching sizes and shapes. These are early math skills.
  • 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.

developing kindergarten readinessWhen 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 your recycling for a few treasures. If only we could see all the activity that’s happening in the brain as children play, we’d also see the value and importance of playtime. For a play-of-the-day can your child make some learning and kindergarten readiness connections with building and construction fun?

Pirate Fun Activities for Kids #19: Block Play

Treasure is usually something that pirates find but today the treasure is something that little pirates can do: building and playing with blocks or other construction toys. For fun, learning and developing kindergarten readiness, blocks and construction toys can be wood, plastic, sponge, or even recycled materials. Kids can use these to make pirate boats, forts, hideouts, treasure chests, castles or whatever they imagine.

pirate play activity with blocksWhen children play with blocks, they are developing some important thinking skills and strategies such as organizing, planning, and problem-solving. they are learning about sizes and shapes and experimenting with spaces. This hands-on play helps for being able to visualize or create images in the mind. Kids are also exploring how pieces balance. At first, kids may only be able to stack 2 or 3 blocks until they topple over. Later, children will challenge themselves to find out how many they can add and towers get higher and higher.

At the preschool age, muscles are still developing and kids are learning how to coordinate their movements. As kids lift, carry, place, fit, balance, stack, and other actions, they are strengthening muscle coordination. They are also learning to control the amount of force used. A block may need just a little tap so that it is in the right place. Too much energy may push the piece beyond the right spot.

pirate play activities for kidsWhile younger children will not be able to create this complex pirate scene, they are certainly being creative and enjoying the play. An advantage of construction toys is that they can be used over and over, and for children of all ages. Adults too enjoy this kind of play. Have you seen any pictures of lego bombing, where lego is used to fill in places and gaps in cities? This is a form of block play for grownups. Play is a treasure for all of us. Are there some blocks or other construction toys for your pirates to play with today?

Kindergarten Readiness: Science Fun and Learning with Blocks

Some ordinary blocks of wood, plastic, or sponge or even some empty plastic containers help kids with both kindergarten readiness and some science learning. Plus, kids can play with blocks over and over, from the time they are babies until they are much older. As kids play with blocks, they learn about stacking and balancing. … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness: Science Fun and Learning with Blocks

Kindergarten Readiness ABC`s – B is for Block Play

Did Santa bring any blocks or construction toys to your house for play-time and, of course, some kindergarten readiness learning and fun? Block play is a super activity for building all kinds of brain connections and thinking strategies. Following is a short list of a few of them. When kids engage in block or other … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness ABC`s – B is for Block Play

Some Handy Ideas for Kindergarten Readiness: Block Play

Block play is definitely a hands-on kindergarten readiness learning and fun activity. In this video below, you can see some of the ways that a child is learning in just a few seconds of play. Besides figuring out how blocks fit together and take apart, here are a few other skills that kids learn: lifting, … Continue reading Some Handy Ideas for Kindergarten Readiness: Block Play

Readiness for Kindergarten – Play & Learn With Blocks

Have you ever gotten up in the middle of the night in bare, unprotected feet and stepped on a lego unnoticed in the dark ? Those edges are really sharp and poky. Lego and other blocks are marvelous for all kinds of learning and kindergarten readiness. These are just a few of the skills that … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Play & Learn With Blocks