What can you learn by building with blocks?
A child can build all kinds of things with Uncle Goose blocks. Towers, buildings, shapes, patterns — if a child can imagine it, a child can build it.
Now, some of our blocks don’t have words. Take our Gosling Square Blocks, for example. They’re building blocks. Children and adults both enjoy making structures and patterns with them.
They’re playing and having fun. But without words and letters -- are they learning anything?
Well, of course they are!
1. Developing Physically. Children need to use large and fine motor skills. This is how they gain coordination, stability, and balance. They also need hand-eye coordination. Lifting, grasping and placing blocks helps develop those skills. Plus, children become intimate with useful terms like over, under, and next to. This deep knowledge can help anyone navigate space in the physical world.
2. Developing Mentally. When children build, they start to recognize concepts like length, height, weight, and area. They sort objects by size, shape, weight, color, or function. They understand what structures are more stable, and which are more likely to fall. They’re introduced to helpful principles like addition and subtraction; and even multiplication, division, and fractions!
3. Developing Socially. If children play alone, they learn how to work independently. And when they play with others, they learn how to cooperate by sharing blocks and building plans. They develop communication and collaboration skills as they express dreams and plans. They gain a sense of accomplishment when they work together to build something they like.
Not all learning is based on knowing words or how to read. There’s a reason why the term “building blocks” is as a metaphor for basic understanding. The metaphor “building blocks” means “the foundation of thinking and behavior.”
The term “building blocks” may be figurative, but to a child — building blocks need to be literal. Building blocks provide the foundational knowledge and skills children need to survive and thrive in a complex world.