Blocks for Toddlers
What is Blocks for Toddlers?
Toddler years are golden periods for children cognitive, emotional and social development. In these periods, a suitable toy will play an important role for their growth because they are learning through playing. However, not all toys in the market are appropriate for toddlers. We have to pay attention for targeted age of toy products to make sure the toys are suitable.
Babies and toddler will be pleased to play with toy blocks. While they combine the blocks, stack them or line them up; it will help to develop more muscle control. 2 years old kids may demonstrate their attempts to make a building structure. Around the age of 3, kids will learn how to balance and fit the blocks together to build towers and bridges. 3 to 4 years old kids will start to learn about design and pattern and make the construction into work of art.
A simple blocks set will be the right choice for babies and toddlers. The blocks material can be from woods or plastic. They can start to learn how to build a simple construction building from 2 or 3 blocks.
The other block model is a wooden board with holes, to be matched with the some shapes of blocks. The shape can be square, triangle or cylinder with various sizes and colors. Some blocks products for toddler also come with letters and alphabets, which will enable toddlers to build their knowledge and develop their vocabulary as well.
The blocks usually have bright colors to attract attention. It will make them learn about colors and practice their vision at the same time.
Block Benefit for Toddler
Playing blocks has some benefit for toddler, here are some of them:
- Develop creativity and intellectual
Blocks will help toddler to develop their creativity. They will learn how to build a construction set with their own way. They can make it anyway they want it, based on their imagination.
- Hand and eye coordination
By building the construction set, it will practice hand and eye coordination. They will learn how to put a block up to another. Playing blocks also strengthen their fingers and hands.
- Practice motor skill
Toy block is good toy for younger kids to practice their fine motor skills.
- Color and shape knowledge
With various color and shape, toddler also gets to acknowledge about color and shape for the first time. For your information, kids from age 12 months through 18 months enjoy toys with bright colors like yellow and red.
- Intellectual stimulation
Toy blocks will make introduce the kids to balance, gravity, texture and geometrical shapes.
- New vocabulary
Although wooden blocks aren’t as flashy as battery-powered video games or robots, playing with blocks may expand a young child’s expressive and receptive language. Kids will learn words such as “fill”, “dump”, “pick up”, “stack”, “balance”, “tall”, “short”, “under”, “over”, “off”, “bottom”, “top”, “through” and “beside”.
With alphabet and number block model, toddlers also can have their 1st lesson about letter and number.
Tips on How to Choose a Block for Toddler
While we choose a toy for toddler, we must concern about some aspect as below:
- Block material
Toddlers often put toys into their mouths, so we have to make sure the toys materials and sizes are safe for kids. For this purpose, many countries regulate safety standards to limit potential hazard. It is of utmost importance to regulate chemicals which are contained in the paintings and other materials children’s products are made of. It is also recommended to have a washable material. Some manufacturer also offer textured blocks and themed cartoon block to increase kids interest.
Blocks should be made from soft/plush materials like hollow plastic or vinyl to make sure it is safe for children’s eyes and faces. Please avoid metal parts. For plastic blocks, we also have to check the material strength. Toys that are made of plastic tend to make sharp edges once they are broken and it would be dangerous for the kids.
- Size of parts and shape of parts
Rounded block is strongly recommended to avoid the kids hurt during playing. Big size of blocks is more suitable because toddler is tends to put everything into mouth, so it is better to avoid small parts that can be choking. Choose block size which is easy to grasp and light enough to carried, with dimension about 2~4 inches.
- Block qty
Blocks with quantity 20~40 pieces are recommended for age under 24 months.
- Block model
Square and triangle shapes are recommended for age under 24 months, while for older age we can give more variation blocks with rounded edges,
Block for Toddler Manufacturers
There are many manufacturers for these blocks. Some of them are Melissa & Doug, Uncle Goose, Ryans Room, Toys R Us, CreaBLOCKS, Learning Resources and Hape.
Recommended Toy Blocks for Toddlers
The products are available in Amazon.com, click on the pictures for detail information:
Mega Bloks First Builders Deluxe Building Bag 160-Piece
Soft Toddler Blocks – ELR-033
Melissa & Doug Classic ABC Block Cart