Watching children play with quality blocks makes one realize that block play is perhaps the most satisfying activity that children engage in. It seems that all is right with the world. What is the appeal? What makes it so satisfying?
When engaged in this open-ended activity, an activity without directions or instructions, children can be who they are—small children with big thoughts, feelings and ideas. Choosing their activity and learning from the experience helps them feel important, competent and in control.
Children learn by doing. We know that children learn best when they follow their own interests. Having fun allows them to be relaxed enough to stretch and grow in all areas of development. For example:
As they plan, describe and construct, they develop imagination and creativity.
They make decisions and choices about their structures.
They use new vocabulary and sentence structure to describe their ideas.
Building glitches present challenging problems that they are motivated to solve.
They have concrete experiences with size, weight, length, shape, gravity, stability, balance and momentum.
They develop large and small motor control.
They experience a sense of control over their environment.
They feel a sense of accomplishment.
They have an opportunity to be a leader and also to respond to the ideas of others.
They take responsibility for materials and for putting them away.