Monday, June 27, 2016

How Building Toys Help Your Children Learn


‘Build your own’ toys have been around for years but what are the benefits of toys like bear making kits and building blocks?

The ‘build your own toy’ market is now bigger in 2016 than it has been before…


We all know how children can easily be engaged when it comes to building your very own toy. Something that allows children to build, personalise and let their creative flair run wild will always be favoured over a one trick figurine. ‘Build your own’ toys have been around for years but what are the benefits of toys like bear making kits and building blocks?


Toy Building is Therapy

In 1999 it was discovered that toy building helped children with social interaction problems. Dr Daniel LeGoff (US), a child neuropsychologist found that children with Asperger's syndrome experienced a change of character and would communicate well when working with these toys. Normally children that struggled with social interaction would communicate well when it came to building with a toy they were excited about. Since, schools like Harston and Newton Primary schools in Cambridge have set up after school clubs designed to help them with social interaction. Children are assigned a role such as engineer, builder and supplier in building a task. Where instructions are available, the engineer must read and communicate them effectively. The Supplier and builder will then work together to put the plans in place.


Cognitive Development

Build your own toys have been proven to support cognitive development in children. Toys like this need your children to think about how each element works and how it can be put together to build one large, functional item. It encourages logical thinking and problem solving abilities.


Creative Output

Children love to express themselves and if you add the build and play elements into the mix, you have one very exciting toy. Encouraging children to be creative is helping them to build character and personality. Professionals (National Foundation of Educational Research, 2004) found that creative play aids emotional processes and helps tolerance of anxiety. Creative Children are also found to enjoy more challenges.


In other studies:


Researchers gave 80 play blocks to low and middle income families who were asked to encourage children to play them daily. Another study group were not given these blocks until the end of the study. After a six month period, researchers evaluated the results (with interviews and evaluation forms) and found that the group of children who were encouraged to play with the blocks scored higher on parent-reported tests of vocabulary, grammar, and verbal comprehension. Furthermore, the children showed a non-significant trend towards watching less TV.

Image by 'dustpuppy' / Flickr - Licence