Children’s blocks are simple, basic toys to adults but to the child, they can be a way to learn dozens of different things. They can learn colors. They can learn numbers, letters and words. Some might teach animal sounds or foreign words. But, before they get to that stage, blocks can teach other, more basic lessons.
Soft or Hard, Noisy or Quiet: The Exploration of the World
A baby explores his world by touching, chewing and throwing toys. These toys, whether they are soft or hard, made of wood or fabric, allows the baby to bite on them, throw them down on the floor or learn to stack them. It may be a while before the baby starts learning what they mean in terms of what is written on them or the color they are, but the caregivers can start saying those words while playing with the baby, which will reinforce baby’s vocabulary skills when the time comes.
It is important to remember that blocks that are too large are hard for the baby to grasp but those that are too small can present a choking hazard. If the toy can fit into an empty paper towel roll, it will fit in a baby’s throat. You can use that guideline for any toy that you want to give to your child.
Meeting Milestones with Toys
Each of the milestones are met within a range of ages. It is important to note that while not all children hit those goals at the same age, it is important to know what is and is not normal. By roughly two years old, they should be able to build a stack of two or three blocks high. However, not all children have the gross and fine motor skills that this entails and may not be able to make the stack quite yet.
In addition to the physical aspects, the baby will start to learn to identify the things on the cubes. Ask your infant to show you a red one and then praise him when he does it. He may get so excited that all of the cubes will suddenly be “red” but he is learning more than just colors here- he is learning social skills such as doing tasks to please his parents or others. Eventually though, he will know the colors for real and will be able to stay on track, showing you the red one when asked.
For very young babies, soft blocks, which are easy to grasp but not dangerous, allow them to play without fear of harming themselves. They are also washable, which keeps them more sanitary. When you are buying there are many options to choose from, but they can all make fun and educational toys for hours of playtime action.