Building blocks are particularly recommended as a Christmas present
Doctors recommend building blocks as a Christmas gift for children. Building blocks promote many areas of child development like no other toy, for example the development of fine motor skills and the development of social, linguistic and cognitive skills, reports the professional association of pediatricians (BVKJ) with reference to a technical contribution by Professor Kym Simoncini from the university in Canberra and Dr. Kevin Larkin from Griffith University.
According to the experts, building blocks are a particularly suitable gift for children. With the creation of the buildings, children develop problem-solving skills, creativity and imagination, reports the BVKJ. The children also train their patience when trying to build a tower or other structures. The building blocks also stimulate spatial thinking, i.e. the ability to mentally imagine objects and their changes in space, the experts explain.
Spatial imagination benefits
The spatial imagination is used in everyday life, "when we read maps, pack the car for the holidays, assemble furniture or split a cake into equal pieces," reports the BVKJ. In addition, spatial thinking is associated with mathematical skills. Children with a good spatial imagination tend to show a better mathematical understanding. In addition, early mathematical skills are associated with better later school success, which is not the case with early reading or social-emotional skills.
Advantages of playing with building blocks
Playing with building blocks helps children to understand many mathematical concepts, such as number, dimensions and geometry, the experts explain. Spatial thinking also enables children to later pursue a scientific, technical, mathematical career or a career in mechanical engineering. The spatial imagination is important, for example, in professions "in which people have to understand X-ray and ultrasound images, have to draw up or read technical and architectural designs or plans for heating and sanitary systems," the BVKJ said.
Language skills are also increasing
According to the doctors, playing with building blocks also influences the "spatial language". By playing with building blocks, the children would hear and use more words related to spatial thinking. This also includes designations for spatial references (such as "under", "above", "next", "behind"), words for properties of objects (such as "small", "wide", "large"), words for Shapes (for example, "rectangle", "circle", "square") and other spatial properties (such as "curved", "pointed", "curved"). Previous studies have shown that playing with building blocks is associated with more words for spatial dimensions than any other type of game.
Recognition and attention
In order to optimize the positive effect of playing with building blocks, parents should recognize the performance of their children in building the buildings and talk to them about them, ask them questions and have them describe what they have built, reports the professional association of pediatricians. There is a large selection of building blocks available for the children of different ages, each of which is adapted to the children's abilities. (fp)