Building with blocks and other building toys can be a fun activity for children of all ages. Here are a few ways to explore blocks and other building toys with your child while supporting the growth of their listening and spoken language skills.
Acoustic highlighting emphasizes certain words or phrases by making them different than the words around them. Try changing the speed of your speech, using different intonation (such as a singsong voice), or speaking louder or softer to emphasize key words.
When playing with a ring stacking toy, try using acoustic highlighting to emphasize different key words or phrases while commenting on your child’s play. For example, on and off.
“On, on, on. Put the ring on.” “You are taking them off. Off, off, off. They are all off.”
Using repetitive, predictable phrases can provide your child with an opportunity to take turns and participate in the language surrounding their play.
When building with blocks, build a tall tower and then count together, “1, 2, 3…. (wait)… CRASH!” Each time you count give your child wait time and see if they will fill in the blank by vocalizing, saying the word “crash” or pushing the tower over.
Exploring building toys together can be a great way to expand your child’s vocabulary and practice following directions. Label the different colors and shapes of the blocks you are building with and talk about their size. See if your child can follow simple directions while you build, “First let’s get the blue block” or “Can you find the circle?” or for older children try 2 elements: “Where is the big red block?”
Interested in the science behind block building? Want to know more about cognitive benefits and the connection to mathematics? Read this article from the National Association for the Education of Young Children
Like the blocks featured in the image of our post? Here is the link to purchase them!
Here are some more building toys we love!