Parents oftentimes ask, “What do you think kids learn through block play?” A lot! The team at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) just recently answered that very question, and here were their expert responses*:
Problem Solving. Sometimes it is intentional: “I want to build X. How do I do that?” Other times it is in-the moment: “To go higher and add to one side, what can I use?”—Peter Pizzolongo
Imagination. Children can follow their own plan, or they can share a friend’s vision and work together to create something they never dreamed of.—Karen Cairone
Self-expression. Blocks offer many ways for young dual language learners to explore, express themselves, and demonstrate what they are learning across languages.— Karen Nemeth
Mathematics. Important concepts and skills are practiced and strengthened through block play, including length, measurement, comparison, number, estimation, symmetry, balance.—Kristen Kemple
Continuity and permanence. Block play engages spatial sense and motor abilities; it can be a solo or a group effort; block creations can stand for an indefinite period of time.—Lawrence Balter
Creativity. Blocks and other loose parts can be moved freely by children, to be combined and recombined in countless ways.—Angela Eckhoff
Science. Blocks offer opportunities to test hypotheses and build scientific reasoning.—Gayle Mindes
Self-esteem. Children discover that they have ideas and that they can bring their ideas to life by creating, transforming, demolishing, and re-creating something unique.—Holly Bohart
Social and emotional growth. Blocks help children learn to take turns and share materials, develop new friendships, become self-reliant, increase attention span, cooperate with others, and develop self-esteem.— Kathleen Harris
Development in all areas. Block play requires fine and gross motor skills. Blocks enhance children’s problem-solving abilities, mathematics skills, and language and literacy abilities. And constructing “creations” builds self esteem and feelings of success. —Linda Taylor"
Sugar Plums is proud to among the 60,000 members of the The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research. We continue to bring their expertise into our classrooms every day.