What could be more of a simple and kid-approved activity than stacking blocks?! This simple kind of play does awesome things for a child’s motor development!
From a young age, kids love the process of stacking things one-by-one and that’s a really good thing! The simple act of stacking blocks is an activity that greatly supports their motor development.
Our OT’s are sharing 3 areas of motor development that kids practice as they stack blocks.
Gross & Fine Motor Skill Building
Hand-Eye Coordination Development
Using blocks, or other items, to stack on top of each other helps kiddos practice hand-eye coordination, a foundational skill in their overall development.
Hand-eye coordination is a major piece of spatial reasoning – a child’s ability to think about and manipulate objects in three dimensions – and the simple act of stacking blocks is a great way to support this skill.
Practicing Pincer Grip
Another important skill for our kiddos is being able to master the pincer grip. Pincer grip is simply being able to pick up, hold and manipulate an object using the index finger and thumb. It’s a foundational skill for kids as they grow and begin to learn how to write.
When children, especially in the early stages of development, play with blocks they are practicing their pincer grip as they pick up, place and move the blocks around.
Developing a pincer grip is a natural part of play and using manipulatives, like blocks, is an easy way to work that skill!
Playing with blocks – sorting, stacking and knocking them down – is doing big things for your child’s cognitive development.
As they play, they are naturally making predictions, creating a plan and solving problems. This is truly playing with a purpose!
Support this natural development by asking questions as they play. Encourage children to think about what might happen if they stack blocks very high or how they can stack in new ways each time.
Notice how they are assessing each attempt with the blocks and how they adjust as they go, they’re working on solving problems each time!
Speech & Language Development
Use playtime to build speech and language skills in a natural way!
Stacking blocks, like these colorful wooden blocks, are a great tool to start working on counting, color naming and creating patterns.
For kiddos who are a bit older, nesting blocks with shapes, patterns, images and letters on them create so much opportunity to build speech. Use these blocks to practice naming letters, build vocabulary and identify images.
A fun way to get little minds moving is to use the images on the nesting blocks to tell stories! Take turns making up a short story about the scene on the block; after you model a story ask your child to choose a block and tell a story too!
This back and forth creates a huge opportunity for them to use their imagination and think in a linear way – beginning, middle and end of their story.
There is so much opportunity for speech development as they play!
At Beyond Speech, one of things we love so much about the in-home therapy model is how we are able to share easy-to-do activities with our families. Activities that are so supportive of their child’s developing skills but also really easy to incorporate into daily play.
We love to empower our families to play with a purpose every day!
If you’d like more information, support or guidance on how to best support your child as they grow and develop, reach out to us! We are here to help 🙂
Click here to contact Beyond Speech!