10+ Ways to Learn with Blocks

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Building with blocks is the current obsession at the Quirky Household!  Ever since our infant was born, and we were gifted with a nice set of Bristle Blocks from B. Toys, all our son has wanted to do is build, bang, throw blocks!  Here are some of the fun things we’ve been doing with blocks in our house (or things I hope to do one day).   Do your kids enjoy blocks?  What is their favorite thing to do with them?

building blocks with kids

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  1. See who can build the tallest tower.  My daughter’s favorite part, isn’t the actual building of the tower or seeing if she’s the “winner”.  She loves to get her tape measure out to see how big her tower really is.
  2. Addition/subtraction game.   So far we have played this with my son handing me the number of blocks and we’ll count them and build a tower.  Then when he asks me for one of the pieces from my tower (as he’s building his own) we recount when blocks are added/subtracted from my tower.
  3. Musical Instruments.  There are a number of ways one can make noise with a block.  You can bang them together, stir them in a metal pot, shake them, etc.   Taniahas even covered her squares with sandpaper and rubbed them together.  I am not quite as daring as Tania, maybe if we didn’t have easy to scratch wood floors (and are in the process of trying to sell our home!!!).  If any of you make sandpaper instruments let me know!

    Earthquakes: Cause and Effect Activity

  4. Spelling with alphabet blocks
  5. Knock them over or build your tower on top of a cookie sheet or cutting board and shake the foundation.  Does your house stand-up to the “earthquake simulation“?
  6. Sort all like pieces – put all the pieces of one type/size in a pile.  Compare piles.  Which one is bigger?
  7. Toss the blocks – This is a fun way to add some spark to your clean-up routine.  Everything gets in the bin faster when it is thrown.
  8. Blueprints and Pattern Recreation – I got this idea from Simply Kids Toys, they suggested an activity where Mom or someone creates the block house and then their child has to re-create the same house.  My son is very concrete and exact in personality (he takes after his father in that – haha) and he loves the extra structure to his play.
  9. DIY Jinga – pull a block out… Can you pull a block out of your tower without knocking it over?  How can you build your tower to withstand having pieces removed?
  10. Create a simple photo puzzle – I loved this gift idea from How Does She.  She printed 6 different photos and then cut then into pieces and glued a piece of each photo onto a collection of blocks to create a rotating puzzle.  Great idea!
  11. Pretend play.  Try incorporating other items and toys into your block play.  With a dump-truck you can be a construction worker creating a road, with dolls, the blocks can create the castle where the princess lives, etc.  My kiddos have even built their blocks into people.

building blocks with kids

Want to read more about blocks?  I thought this article about the different stages of block-play that our kids go through was fascinating!  I have a 4 year old, a 3 year old and a 22 month old.  They were right on with the progression of how kids learn to play with a variety of pieces and how they move from say, obsessively knocking piles over to creating elaborate worlds.  What are your kids doing with their blocks?
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Thanks again to B.You.Toys for sponsoring this post!



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