Sunday, 1 September 2013

Good toys - Blocks

When #4 was in kindergarten I asked her what her all time favourite toy was. She said she wished she had those giant blocks they had at school. Indeed, that was the toy the kids rushed for during free play time. I had been keeping a lookout for those giant blocks and I finally found them online at Kidspeciality. These Big EduColor Blocks come in a set of 32 pieces which cost $249.90. Yup, they don't come cheap, but I'll tell you why I'm a big fan of blocks.

A house to call my own


Benefits of playing with blocks:
  1. Promotes creativity
  2. Improves hand eye coordination
  3. Increases strength and dexterity
  4. Improves concentration and attention span
  5. Enhances logical thinking
  6. Learn about shapes
  7. Learn about colour
  8. Learn about gravity
  9. Learn about balance
  10. Learn about cause and effect
And most importantly, it is FUN!

When a child tries to build a tower and it comes crashing down, what does she do? She tries again using a different method. She is being a little scientist using experimentation, observation, and alteration to problem solve.

Let's see who can build a taller tower which can withstand the wind

















By lining up her blocks, what is she learning? She is learning Math concepts such as length and measurement, sorting, grouping, comparing - all the basics of what she will learn in Math lessons in future.

When a group of children build together, what are they doing? They are learning how to work as a team - to take turns, communicate, negotiate and cooperate. All these are important life skills they need to acquire.

As a baby, she will love to knock 'em down! You can play a game with her whereby you build up a tower and let her knock it down. She will learn to wait and anticipate as you build, and squeal as it all comes crashing down!



A rough timeline:

1 year:  Knocking them down followed by stacking them up
2 years: Build simple structures
3 years: Move on to more complex structures
4 years: Recognises patterns, shapes, grouping
5 years: Recreate structures seen in daily life
6 years: Pretend play with accessories eg cars, animals



















One step further:
You can combine blocks with books. Read your child a story then play the blocks with her. She may be inspired to come up with new ideas.

I'll choose blocks anytime over battery operated character toys which my child will probably play with for a couple of days then chuck them aside. More importantly, commercialised toys not only stifle the child's creativity but they will slowly become familiar to the child, thus indoctrinating them to the consumption culture. Then somewhere down the road you wonder why they want the whole set of Barbie or Ben 10. Construction toys on the other hand are open ended toys which the child can play with for many years. This set of blocks are washable and are even suitable for water play. It is good to start baby off on soft blocks as they have no sharp edges.


#5's throne

The online store is run by a mom of 2 kids. I met her a couple of years back when her daughter joined #4 for Japanese lessons. I like to support fellow moms who start their own businesses. Sadly, our workplaces do not truly support family friendly work schedules and flexi hours. I applaud all moms who take charge of their own lives and find their own work or start their own businesses so that they are able to spend time with their children, especially in their early years.

This lady has kindly offered a 10% discount (regular priced items only) for all mummywee readers from 1-30 Sept 2013. Please go to mummywee facebook page for the discount code. Do 'like' our facebook page to receive future updates on promotions. Kidspeciality provides free normal postage delivery for local orders above $10.

Sane tip: Blocks can definitely keep my kids entertained for longer periods than many other toys.

Save tip: I am sharing these giant blocks with Kate's playgroup mummies so we can split the cost. Each child will get to play with the toys for a couple of weeks then we rotate. It's great because kids do get bored of playing with the same toys. When you put them away for a while then reintroduce it, it's like a new toy all over again! She also sells smaller versions of the foam blocks. 80 pieces ($61.90) 30 pieces ($36.90).



~   mummywee - parenting 6 kids without going mad or broke  ~

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