Preschool Educational Activities: 3 Ways to Help Your 3-Year-Old Develop a Love of Blocks
3-year-olds learn and develop new skills every day and they love trying new things. Choose Age-appropriate activities can help them gain confidence. on your new found talents. These preschoolers want activities that are new but not too difficult, frustrating, or lengthy. One toy that preschoolers love is a set of wooden blocks. Construction toys are the perfect toy to enhance your new budding skills. Here are 3 tips to encourage your preschooler to play with these great educational toys.
1-Build familiar things for your child
A 3-year-old likes to reproduce things he knows. For example, they could build a house or a barn, but not a castle. Your preschooler can make a simple car, but not a spaceship. They may want to build a dog, but they don’t know how to recreate a dragon. A 3-year-old’s imagination is developing, but he prefers to draw, pretend, and build things that are real to him.
Small projects of 2 constructions
A child of this age still has a fairly short attention span. Don’t overwhelm them with a large number of blocks at once. An adequate number of blocks for this age would be 60 to 80 pieces. Investing in a larger set that they can use as they get older is a good idea, but at this age you may only want to get a limited number of blocks.
Encourage projects that could take about 5-10 minutes to complete. Projects that are too complex or large will make them lose interest. If they lose interest, they may end up just dropping the blocks and that will frustrate you too.
Children of this age mainly use square and rectangular blocks. They don’t wear many varied shapes at this age. They will only use a few blocks like triangles and arches. For the most part, they will use the basic shapes that are easy to stack.
Keep your projects simple, like making a simple little four-wall house, not a big mansion with a 5-car garage. If they have to stack multiple blocks to complete a project, they may lose interest or become frustrated. Let your child build something that can be completed successfully. This helps build your confidence. Congratulate them on their achievements. Helping them be successful encourages them to build bigger and more complex things when they are ready. Be sure to help them build to their level so they want to recreate another day.
Low 3-Build Structures or Table Top Designs
A 3-year-old still has limited balance skills. So remember, you don’t always have to accumulate! Instead of stacking blocks, have them build something that is only a block or two high. For example, a row of blocks lined up across the room will make a wonderful train. As they get older and play more with blocks, they will start adding wheels to their train, a chimney, or load on the wagons. They could make a row or two of blocks into squares that could be zoo cages and add their favorite plastic or stuffed animals.
Another fun activity is to let them line up blocks on the table, so they can shape or copy simple outlines of objects with the blocks by placing the pieces flat on the table. You can give them a very simple image, like a page from a coloring book. They could align blocks just on top of the page outline or have them copy the shape onto the table that forms the image shape. These tabletop designs are really creative. They can create creatures, vehicles, people, or their favorite superhero characters. Make faces using the different shaped blocks for the eyes, ears and a bow to smile or frown. There is no limit to these creative tabletop designs.
Today, many toys are electronic, “high-tech” and have specific ways of playing with them. In our business for the last 5 years, we have noticed children of all ages who do not know what to do with a set of wooden blocks. They will ask “What do you do with these?” when at a table full of blocks. They don’t know how to stack them and quickly become frustrated or lose interest. But educators, researchers, and parents know the tremendous value of playing with simple toys that use a child’s imagination. It is important for young children to play with these types of educational toys. Make sure your little one grows up loving playing with wooden blocks.