Creative Child

Explore the Benefits of Playing with Blocks

by Winita Frederick on Jun 28th, 2016

Playing with blocks of all kinds is a great introduction to STEAM subjects like physics and design. Combine blocks of different sizes and see how much tension they can withstand before breaking apart! Measure the dimensions of buildings to see how big each side is before comparing them to other objects around the house! See how many different color combinations are pleasing to the eyes! The benefits of playing with blocks also include fine motor skill development and increased self-esteem when a building project is completed.

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We can all recall the joys of playing with LEGO blocks as kids. Now, there are kids’ construction toys that bend and move, light up, utilize magnetism to maintain their hold, and feature feminine flare! 

Lux Blox
Invented by artist Michael Acerra and his wife, Heather, Lux Blox are made up of uncomplicated components designed for easy use with young children in. These building toys are also inspired by the architectural concept of biomimicry, allowing kids to create structures just as nature builds itself! Have an engineering and architecture lesson and test the tensegrity (that’s tensile integrity) of your structures by bending and twisting them in different directions.

Lux Blox Weeping Willow
Courtesy of Lux Blox

Laser Pegs
What if I told you there was a way to upgrade all those LEGO blocks you’ve got lying around with lighting and electrical engineering properties? Well, there is, and they’re called Laser Pegs! Great as standalone kits and compatible with LEGO, the benefits of playing with blocks is obvious with these light-up building blocks. Kids will also have tons of fun watching Laser Pegs' super cool model building videos, like this one.

 Courtesy of the Examiner via Laser Pegs
Courtesy of the Examiner via Laser Pegs 

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Lincoln Logs
These ones are oldies but goodies. Created by John Lloyd Wright, son of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and an architect in his own right, Lincoln Logs have been a construction toy staple since 1916. They help children develop fine motor skills as well as problem solving skills, plus they’re a great introduction to architectural history around the world!

VIntage Lincoln Logs Ad
Vintage Lincoln Logs Ad courtesy of Incredible Art Department

Magformers
Everyone knows Magformers, but did you know that they have a math activity set, specifically designed to make math visual and interactive? Many of us have a misconception that math (and by extension all STEM subjects) are difficult and that you have to have a special kind of brain to be an engineer or scientist. In reality, we just have to make math more accessible with kits like Magformers’ to keep our kids intrigued by the beauty of math!

Magformers Math Set via Magformers
Courtesy of Magformers

Build & Imagine
The benefits of playing with blocks are obvious, but they’ve often been reserved for boys and “boys’ toys,” while girls are expected to stick to playing with dolls and dollhouses. There’s nothing wrong with playing with dolls—they help girls and boys develop cognitive, fine motor, and emotional intelligence skills—it’s just not fair to exclude girls from the benefits of playing with blocks, either. Build & Imagine are building blocks meets dollhouse meets dress-up dolls designed to make construction toys accessible for all kids!

Build & Imagine
Courtesy of Build & Imagine 

We can’t think of anything better than engaging activities that also teach important skills in the process. While there will always be room for those little bright colored bricks, we love all of these new options that offer the benefits of playing with blocks with their own modern twists. More importantly, kids love them, too!

Winita is a staff writer at Scooterbay Publishing Inc. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and worked as a library assistant and elementary school tutor throughout college. When she's not writing, she enjoys outdoor exercise, reading at the library, and spending time with family and friends.

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