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Importance of playing with Wooden Blocks

People have been asking about How To Use Wooden blocks. This is useful information I found.

Building with blocks provides one of the most valuable learning experiences available for young children. Block play stimulates learning in all domains of development, intellectual, physical, and social-emotional and language. The current research shows that block play is fundamental for later cognitive success for learning math and numbers. In a research study, “Block Play Performance among Preschoolers as a Predictor of Later School Achievement in Mathematics”, published in the Journal of Research in Early Childhood Education, the researchers proved that children who play with blocks when they are 3, 4 and 5 years of age will do better in math, especially Algebra in middle school.

There is a natural progression of block play and introducing infants and toddlers to block play is invaluable.

TODDLERS- When toddlers are first introduced to blocks they may learn how to hold on to them, how they feel, how heavy they are and begin to carry them around. They will experiment with how blocks may sound when they fall, or when they bang them together. Soon toddlers are learning cause and effect as they are filling and dumping, stacking, knocking down, and laying blocks side by side on the floor. Concepts such as learning sizes, comparing objects by making exact matches and the order of objects are also being learned. Socially, block play contributes to their developing self-confidence, for example as they learn how to stack blocks they are proud of their success and feel a sense of accomplishment. Through block play, a young child’s expressive and receptive language is being expanded by learning words such as “fill,” “dump,” “pick up,” “stack,” “balance,” “tall”, and “short.”

3 YEAR OLD- Three-year-olds block play will look different as they move into a simple constructive type of play. A three-year-old usually plays alone or near other children and are beginning to engage in pretend play. They are starting to build enclosures that resemble zoos, farm pens, roads, and castles. They are learning concepts such as sorting, ordering, counting, one to one correspondence, size and shape.

4 and 5-YEAR-OLDS- At four and five children’s block play is more experienced, developed, balanced coordinated, and organized. Constructive play involves play that is more open-ended and exploratory. Children begin to combine structures to make more complex buildings. Socially, four and five-year-olds are beginning to share ideas and are starting to cooperate and build with others. They may use block accessories such as people, transportation vehicles, and animals to engage in imaginary/ pretend play. They are learning more complex patterns, classifying, sequencing, counting, fractions, and problem-solving. According to article “Constructive Play” written by Walter Frew et.al, “Block play shows the opportunity for conceptual understanding in the area of structural engineering as children explore forces of gravity, compression, tension and the relationship between materials and successful design to achieve balance, stability, and even aesthetic sensibility.”

Preschoolers are beginning to notice and explore more 3– dimensional objects such as cones, cylinders, cubes, and prisms, (geometry). Science is also being learned through block play as children start making predictions, comparisons, experiment with cause and effect, stability, and balance. Their vocabulary is also expanded by block play as they develop an understanding of spatial relations and words such as “under,” “over,” “off,” “bottom,” “top,” “through,” and “beside.”

What type of environment and materials are needed to encourage block play?

Toddler Environment- Block play should be set up in an area that is free from other distractions and out of traffic. The type of blocks needed in meet the Environment Rating Scale for Infants and Toddlers – Revised Edition, should be non-interlocking and at least 2 inches by 2 inches. The ITERS-R tool suggests at least three sets of different types of blocks. Each set should contain at least 10 blocks to allow the children enough to properly explore. Accessories such as people, animals and transportation vehicles should also be available to expand play.

Wooden blocks from our store: 25 pieces Wooden Blocks, 63 pieces Wooden Blocks, Teak wood Blocks, Wooden Cubes

Original resource:

http://www.claytonearlylearning.org/blog/why-is-block-play-important-for-toddlers-and-preschoolers-what-are-they-learning/

http://www.naeyc.org/yc/10_things_children_learn_block_play

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Importance of Playing with Cloth Dolls

“Children often express emotions and thoughts while playing with dolls that they might not be able to convey using words,” says Allan Gonsher, a play therapist in Overland Park, Kansas.

I always do my best to source alternative things children can play with compared to the ones available in market. My aim is to reach out parents who are conscious about what they want to give their child, be it food, toys, books, education, gadgets and so on. In my journey of running My Little Bookshop, I have succeeded to meet so many like minded parents and I have learnt a lot from them too. One such person is Sudha Chakravarty, who is homeschooling her two lovely children in Mumbai. Sudha is a strong individual and follows her heart. I personally felt she was the right person to share her experience of giving cloth dolls to her children and she happily shared her views with My Little Bookshop on request. This is what she has to say

I am a mother of 2 kids aged 8 yr and 4 yrs .I have consciously given gender neutral toys to them and never excess, I constantly declutter. The thing that struck me someday was there was way too much plastic in their toys,when most things in the house are either recycled, upcyled.. why am I creating junk through these??? while these thoughts were in my mind I was gradually meandering towards homeschooling my kids… what should I teach ..how..were the questions clouding my mind. In one such search I came across Waldorf or Steiner philosophy. It blew my mind off I started meeting online such families throughout the globe and bingo came my answer NATURAL toys.They believe kids from a very young age should be given natural toys preferably unfinished ones and it can be anything….

Both the kids have been introduced to dolls very early and some were plastic ones (my daughter never hankered for a Barbie). I saw in one such experimental session the kids took away each part of the doll and didn’t really feel bad that the doll is destroyed… their demand was they wanted 1 more!! But I noticed one thing they never did any such thing with their cloth dolls.. my question was why such discrimination and after a chat with my son I discovered the following…
  1. The cloth dolls are soft to touch just like human body
  2. When they sleep with them they don’t feel the hardness of plastic
  3. Our cloth dolls are big they wear their their infant size clothes ,they love dressing them up with convenience…(it’s ok the hand gets twisted or neck gets twisted..atleast they will not break)
  4. They have named them and no one treats a friend like that ..specially a friend who sits near their head at night when the room is dark.
  5. They can be easily carried here and there in bags.
  6. We have quite a few dressed in woolens …they feel its warmth in the cold seasons.
  7. The couple of plastic  dolls they have all scribbling on their face… when I asked why you don’t scribble on the cloth dolls … the answer was simple people don’t scribble on their friends face …
The feeling of love and most importantly feeling of ownership and respect is what develops through this warmies ..another name for cloth dolls in our home. Parents here play a very important role after they choose the cloth doll they have chosen they should too respect it, we never put them in the drawer it’s always on their bed ..the dolls are refered always by their name, never thrown always gently handed over and they are very few in number, hence always get carried on vacations!!! they are clothes so easily maintained hand or machine washable !!! we now do not own a single plastic doll now but just 4 cloth dolls…they are treated in great respect and love. I would tell every parent to give a slight thought on all natural toys they go a long way teaching valuable lessons.
I hope Sudha’s experience will give a new perspective in your parenting journey. Thanks for taking time to read 🙂
You may visit our eStore to buy Cloth dolls which are handmade by villagers in Auroville. Some of the popular toys are
We are working on adding more soft toys this year and we welcome you suggestions too. Please write to us on mylittlebookshop@hotmail.com