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Day 28 - Blocks: the indispensable toy

Day 28 - Blocks: the indispensable toy

Alexis Ralphs Sep 02 • 7 min read

If you were allowed only one toy in the toy box, what would it be?

For me, it has to be blocks, though figures would come in a respectable second.

You may have noticed that the selection of toys on our site is limited. This is deliberate. Children don't need many toys. Most of what you find in your local toyshop is disposable junk. That's not to say that your child won't enjoy playing with it for a while, simply that the pleasures are short-lived.

Only open-ended toys have any long-term play value. If you want your child to learn through play, these are the toys to stock up on.

Blocks present limitless challenges. But they're not just for engineers. Building with blocks requires an aesthetic choice and the design must be fit for purpose. They teach symmetry and balance, multiplication and division. They're even great for language development.

Can you think of another toy that is as loved as much by an infant as a schoolchild?

Me neither.

As you know, almost to a fault, we discourage you from buying too many toys. But blocks are special. You need a decent quantity of them. Enough to complete your constructions, to realise you vision. There's nothing more frustrating that starting on a build only to realise halfway through that you don't have enough to finish it.

Here's the rest of the series:

Introduction

Day 1 - Theories of Development

Day 2 - Stages of Play

Day 3 - Play is Multisensory

Day 4 - Gender-Neutral Toys

Day 5 - The Zone of Proximal Development

Day 6 - Heuristic Play

Day 7 - Spot the Difference

Day 8 - Sorting

Day 9 - Schemas

Day 10 - Ask good questions

Day 11 - Conservation

Day 12 - Seriation

Day 13 - Observation

Day 14 - Set a good example

Day 15 - Fewer toys = more focus

Day 16 - The Hundred Languages of Children

Day 17 - Plan-do-review

Day 18 - Practical life

Day 19 - Free-flow play

Day 20 - Executive functions

Day 21 - Spaced repetition

Day 22 - Independent play

Day 23 - Project-based Learning

Day 24 - The Environment As The Third Teacher

Day 25 - Start With The Child

Day 26 - Symbolic Play

Day 27 - Learning To Write

Day 28 - Blocks: the indispensable toy

Day 29 - Outdoor Learning

Day 30 - Play

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