How kids learn with constructive toys

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tiny hands and blocks
Children can learn so much and develop many skills from using constructive toys
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You will be amazed at the skills your child derives from playing with blocks

Most play is constructive. Children do learn a myriad of things when they play and learn with constructive toys. Some child psychologists might even argue that there is something constructive about Tommy hitting Billy in the noggin with a tinker toy, although most mothers will not agree.   

Constructive toys are toys that strengthen the hands of children and improve coordination and dexterity. These toys sharpen their minds and teach children about spatial thinking and creativity. Building blocks are a good example of a constructive toy.

When playing with constructive toys, such as blocks, a child engages his eye-hand coordination and learns how to place objects as well as balance them. Constructive and construction play teaches your child about design and art. The child can build his own castle or barn and make it look how he wants it to look.

Playing with constructive toys also teaches a child about cause and effect, such as the small block cannot support the larger block and the structure is going to tumble over as a result, and about math, science and even architecture. Engineering also comes into play as your child figures out how to build something that will stay put and not topple over.


When playing with constructive toys, a child learns how to design imaginary items and his language ability expands because he learns how to talk about and articulate information about colors, shape, size and other parts of the building that he is creating. The fingers and hands of a child will become stronger when he is engaged in constructive play and his social skills and ability to share and get along with other kids will improve as a result if he and another child are both engaged in block building.

Math is learned when a child has to add or take away a block to make the project work. Science and physics also come into play because the child learns about balance and gravity and what happens when items are not balanced properly. These are important subjects that introduced to young minds when children learn with constructive toys.

When purchasing constructive and educational toys for your child, consider his age and his interests. The toy should be challenging but not so much so that it will frustrate your child.

A constructive toy can be anything that teaches your child how to locate objects, identify letters and numbers and recognize different shapes and colors. When a child plays with constructive toys, color and number recognition is reinforced and she will learn her ABCs and how to count before you know it.

Children have two styles of learning including primary and secondary styles. One child learns about colors by singing the names of the colors while another child learns about colors by drawing pictures and using different colored crayons. Music or linguistic skills may not be the primary learning style of a certain child but a secondary intelligence and there is nothing wrong with that. Pay attention to how your child learns. Match his learning style with his toys.

Constructive toys can include toys that are foam, plastic, wood, cardboard, soft or hard, although foam items are not appropriate for a toddler because they will eat them. Play with your child and engage in the process of beginning to learn with constructive toys. Get down on the floor with him and build a structure of your own. Talk about what you are doing and why you are picking certain blocks and colors and shapes for your design.

Block and constructive play keep a child mentally alert and teaches him about visual discrimination, patterning and sequencing. As the child matures, she will learn even more about mechanisms, structures, levers and pulleys. Open-ended play allows a child to fantasize and create that fantasy in her construction project.

The best type of constructive toy will offer surprises to your child, fun, the ability to create something new every time he starts building and the opportunity to excel.


Resources: constructive toys

Early Childhood News

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