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Educational Preschool Activities – 3 Ways To Help Your 3 Year Old Build A Love For Blocks
3-year-olds are learning and developing new skills every day and they love trying new things. Choose age-appropriate activities can help build confidence in their newly discovered talents. These preschoolers want activities that are new but not too difficult, frustrating, or time-consuming. A toy that preschoolers love is a set of wooden blocks. Building toys are the perfect toy to improve their new budding skills. Here are 3 suggestions to encourage your preschooler to play with these great educational toys.
1-Build things familiar to your child
A 3-year-old child likes to reproduce things he knows. For example, they can build a house or a barn, but not a castle. Your preschooler can make a simple car, but not a spaceship. They might want to build a dog but don’t know how to recreate a dragon. A 3-year-old’s imagination is growing but he prefers to draw, pretend and build real things for himself.
2-Build small projects
A child of this age still has a fairly short attention span. Don’t overwhelm them with a large number of blocks at once. A good amount of blocks for this age would be 60-80 pieces. Investing in a bigger set that they can use as they grow is a good idea, but at this age you may only want to take out a limited number of blocks.
Encourage projects they could complete in 5 or 10 minutes. Projects that are too complex or large will cause them to lose interest. If they lose interest, they may end up throwing the blocks away and that will frustrate you as well.
Children of this age mainly use square and rectangular blocks. They don’t use many varied forms at this age. They will only use a few blocks such as triangles and arcs. They will mostly use the easy to stack basic shapes.
Keep their plans simple, like making a simple four-wall tiny house and not a huge mansion with a 5-car garage. If they have to stack multiple blocks to complete a project, they may lose interest or become frustrated. Let your child build something they can complete successfully. This helps to build their confidence. Congratulate them on their accomplishments. Helping them succeed encourages them to build bigger and more complex things when they are ready. Be sure to help them build to their level so they will want to create again another day.
3-Build low structures or table top designs
A 3-year-old child still has limited balance skills. So remember you don’t always have to build! Instead of stacking blocks, have them build something only a block or two high. For example, a row of blocks lined up across the room will make a wonderful train. As they grow and play with blocks they will begin to add wheels to their train, chimney or cargo to cars. They could make a row or two of blocks in squares that could be zoo cages, and add their favorite plastic or stuffed animals.
Another fun activity is to let them line up blocks on the table. They can mold them into shapes or copy simple outlines of objects with the blocks by placing the pieces flat on the table. You can give them a very simple picture, like a page from a coloring book. They could line up blocks just above the outline of the page or ask them to copy the shape onto the board forming the shape of the picture. These table designs are really creative. They can create creatures, vehicles, people or their favorite superhero characters. Make funny faces using the different block shapes for eyes, ears and an arch for a smile or frown. There is no limit to these creative table top designs.
Many toys today are electronic, “high-tech” and have specific ways to play with them. In our company for 5 years, we have noticed children of all ages who do not know what to do with a set of wooden wedges. They will ask “What do you do with these?” when he is at a table full of blocks. They don’t know how to stack them and quickly become frustrated or disinterested. But educators, researchers, and parents know the enormous value of playing with simple toys that use a child’s imagination. These types of toys help them develop important cognitive and motor skills and help them learn complex science and math concepts. It is important for young children to play with these types of educational toys. Make sure your little one grows up loving playing with wooden building blocks.
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