A Close Up On Our Knock-a-Block
Play is the serious business of childhood,” Jerome Bruner, cognitive psychologist.
When we initially conceptualized our Knock-A-Block, we saw the need for a toy that incorporated the important forms of play that are vital during early childhood development.
Children learn all the time – while digging in the sand, splashing in the bath, dressing up, and building with blocks, they are developing critical thinking, motor and language skills, as well as expanding their imagination and problem-solving.
There has been a steady increase in sensory-related issues and poor motor control. The high-tech world we live in, is an alluring distractor and ‘babysitter’, providing unlimited hours of screen time for young minds which rather need every opportunity for physical, social and imaginative play.
When your child builds with our Knock-A-Block, they are engaging in a spectrum of cognitive play activities that broaden their skill set without them even knowing:
Sensory or ‘construction’ play
We are sensory beings and need to be immersed in the sensory world of tangible objects by moving, creating, and exploring through touch. The tactile nature of hammering the dowels into each hole on our blocks engages your child’s concentration and three-dimensional thinking.
Symbolic or ‘pretend’ play
Encourages imagination to take over and increases oral communication skills which facilitates reading and writing later. As they build with our open-ended blocks, they learn to explore and rely on their creativity.
This is where the phrase ‘muscle memory’ comes in – our human nature learns and progresses through repetitive action. Using ‘loose parts’ to build, stack and join different materials requires planning as well as symmetry and balance. As your child learns to hold the dowel when they hammer for more control, or symmetrically place blocks to balance out their creation, their brain is being stimulated by using information to form patterns.
Let’s supply our children with loads of movement and sensory-related activities from the earliest age possible. This, together with plenty of outdoor play in nature and art activities, will enhance mental, physical and emotional functions and enrich their young brains.
A parting thought from speaker, author and coach, Gloria DeGaetano:
“Brains need bodies that move. When babies and young children are moving and exploring their three-dimensional world, they are busy building neural structures in their brains that are the very foundation for all future learning.”