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Building Blocks

What you need...

Building blocks appropriate for 8 months and up.

How to prepare...

If with a single child, sit with the building blocks between you and them. If with a group, sit in a circle with the children, around the blocks. For younger children, cushions or support may be needed to sit unaided by an adult, but try to ensure children are sitting unsupported as much as possible.

The activity process...

Start by allowing the children to play with the blocks as they wish, getting used to the feel and weight of them. This may include banging them together or on the table or piling the blocks on top of one another.

8-20 months

Start by removing the blocks the chid has been playing with. Then, with the child sitting down, begin to put the blocks in front of the child for them to pick up. Each time, move the block slightly further away, encouraging the child to lean forward to grasp the block. If the child becomes fussy with the effort, allow them some time to hold the blocks, uninhibited, before trying to make them reach out again.

A secondary activity would be bringing the blocks together in your hands to make a banging noise, allowing the children to imitate the movement and make the sound themselves.

16-26 months

While you have the child/children’s attention, build a small block tower of three or four blocks. Encourage the children to copy you and build their own towers. If they are not trying to imitate the tower, try piling a block on top of one of theirs to show them they can do it, too. Children may be more inclined to build block towers if they know they can knock them down afterwards!

Tracking this activity...

8-20 months

Physical Development: Moving and Handling; “Sits unsupported on the floor. When sitting, can lean forward to pick up small toys. Holds an object in each hand and brings them together in the middle, e.g. holds two blocks and bangs them together.”

16-26 months

Physical Development: Moving and Handling; “Beginning to balance blocks to build a small tower.”