On the previous posting, I have written some ways to play 100 piece wooden block set. The ways are sorting blocks based on color and shapes, and games with the bags. Here, I only write the basic way to play the block set. It’s building or arranging the block set. It can be made into building such as house, castle, or anything as children’s imagination allow it to be. It can also be made into many things and arranged on the ground. It’s like when we play tangram.
There’s no rules to play it. Just let children to build as they want to be. Let their creativity kick in. Hence, we can also guide the play (in the beginning) and give them example. It will give them perspectives and ideas which they may not think of. And this will stimulate them to create even more. Below is some ideas to guide in the play and some activities examples for children in different age.
1-2 Years Old Children
Here are ways to play the block and what can be achieved:
- Stack the blocks into tower
Show children how to stack the blocks into tower. What they are going to love in doing this activity is when they see the blocks falling down. It is so because at this age they love seeing something that moves. If we stack the tower high enough until it falls down, they will laugh and want to see it again and again. Yet, don’t just make them laughing. Ask them to stack the block by themselves. When they do it, they may arrange the blocks as in the picture below.
As you can see, the blocks are not in a vertical line. That’s why the blocks will fall down easily. It’s not unusual to arrange the blocks as in the picture for 1 – 2 years old. It’s because making the blocks in a vertical line requires the spatial skill and fine motor muscle controls. As they are in the early stage of developing both skills, therefore arranging the blocks in vertical line is still a difficult task for them. Hence, ask them to do the activity often. This will make both skills developed.
Something to be noted is when we show how to stack the blocks, we have to do it properly, not with the intention to make the blocks fall easily (though it will make our children laugh and excited). If we do it properly, the higher we stack the blocks, they will fall down eventually. We need to do it, so our children can see the right example of how to stack the blocks. It is important because what they see will be kept in their memory. The example will become a standard which will stimulate them to do as we do. When they fail to do what we do, which is actually normal (due to their developing ability),they will try to figure out how to stack the blocks as we do. And this, actually what makes children developing their spatial and fine motor control muscles. They try, fail, think, learn, practice, succeed and all the experiences kept in their memory. This is when the new ability is achieved.
Yet, do not always show them example. Do it occasionally. In the times we do not show example, let them to stacks the blocks as they want. This will make them bring out their original creation.
- Building the blocks
Ask children to build different kind of blocks vertically as in the picture below.
Do the steps as in stacking tower. Show our children example, let them try to follow what we do, then let them create their own buildings.
3 Years Old
Basically ways to play it the same as 2 years old. Yet, there will be differences. At this age, children are commonly able to stack some blocks in a vertical line by themselves like the picture below.
This is a result of previous experiences. When they are able to do this, it actually shows their development in spatial and fine motor muscles control ability. If our children haven’t been able to do this, don’t worry. Just keep practicing, they will eventually be able to do it. Remember practice makes perfect. Yet, don’t be satisfied with this. Encourage our children to do more. Give more variations and more difficult tasks of how to arrange the blocks. This will make them keep thinking and developing their ability even more. Here are some examples:
There are two more abilities added to arrange the blocks as examples. They are following pattern and sequencing. It seems easy for us adult, but for children it’s not as easy as it looks like. To make the stairs, they have to arrange the blocks in sequence of blocks amount: one block, two blocks and three blocks. It means they have to know the sequence of numbers and the actual amount that is represented by the numbers. If we make the stairs in different colors, it will add difficulty levels as they have to combine two attributes at once, number and colors. They also have to use their spatial skills and fine motor skills. So, many tasks at once for a simple activity.
As in building blocks, they commonly have been able to build many blocks to higher stack and able to arrange the blocks in neat vertical arrangement as in the picture below. Let them to create the building as they want as they have enough basic abilities to make their own creation which may surprise us.
4 Years Old and Above
At this age, they are commonly able to do the tasks in previous age. Give them more challenge. Ask them to create things from the blocks. At first, as in previous age, we can give examples and let them follow what we create. This will, again, practice their ability to follow pattern. It’s better if we give difficult pattern to follow. Then ask them to create their own thing. This is a more difficult task to do, as they have to imagine thing they see in their life or even from their imagination. Then they have to project what’s on their mind into real thing through blocks. This requires imagination, shapes recognition and making pattern (which is a cognitive skills).
Here are some examples of pattern which can be made with 100 piece wooden block set (note: the blocks are put on the ground).
Note: All the patterns above are only example and they are made with the 100 piece wooden block set. Create more examples of pattern and buildings for children such as house, castle, building with bridges, etc.
Those are the ways to play 100 piece wooden block set. Hence, there’s something to be noted. Basically when our children play, let them play as they want it to be. As this will stimulate their creativity. On the contrary, we can also give examples -only do it occasionally- as those will give them perspective they may not think of yet. As they like to follow what adult do, they will definitely try to follow the pattern. And this will give them chance to learn and practice many abilities they needed such as: spatial skill, fine motor, following pattern, and shapes recognition. Later, after they master the basic skills, when they play the blocks by themselves, they may create their own pattern or buildings creation which may be more complex than the ones they created before. When they have been able to do this, it will be their great achievement as this shows a further development of cognitive skills.
So, keep 100 piece wooden block set for your children. Give them chance to develop their abilities more with it. Happy playing with your children 🙂
100 Piece Wooden Block Set (Part 1): Ways to Play It and What Can be Achieved