It is said that the best things are often the simplest. Simple toys are also powerful because they spur kids’ creativity and serve many developmental purposes.
Why construction toys are the ultimate toys
1) They serve many developmental purposes
Research has found that encouraging kids to engage in constructive play has many benefits. Kids who frequently play with blocks and LEGO have better problem solving skills, better vocabulary, are more creative and are better able to notice fine details.
2) They’re simple
The advantage of simple toys is that they drive kids to use their imagination. Construction toys spur creativity and can be used in many different ways.
3) They present endless possibilities
Having constructions toys is like having many toys at the same time. There are so many different structures that kids can come up with when left to their imagination.
4) They have a calming effect
By forcing kids to focus on something other than their strong emotions, construction toys can help calm angry or anxious kids. There is evidence that LEGO therapy can help kids with autism calm down and improve their social skills.
5) They last and last…
Quality construction toys grow with your child and have even been known to be passed down from generation to generation. Construction toys can be used differently when kids get older.
Tips to pick age-appropriate construction toys
Construction toys range from simple letters and blocks that can be used by young kids to complex LEGO structures that require much focus and time. Choosing age-appropriate toys enables kids to gain the most benefits from them.
As soon as toddlers have learned to grasp, they can begin to hold construction toys such as blocks.
Tips for choosing construction toys for toddlers
- Safety is the most important priority for this age group, especially as it is at this age that kids put things in their mouths. Privilege large construction toys that can’t fit in their mouths.
- Privilege blocks made with soft materials.
- Toddlers are more attracted to brightly coloured objects.
Suggestions for toddlers
Below age 2
Kids at this age engage in repetitive play and it is through this that they learn to master different activities. By transferring blocks from hand to hand, young kids develop coordination.
Tips for choosing construction toys for kids under age 2
- Toys should also have round or flat edges to prevent cuts.
- Safety is still a priority so privilege large construction toys
- Young kids are more attracted to brightly coloured blocks.
- This age is an age of discovery so it’s important to include toys with different sizes, colours and textures.
Suggestions for kids under 2
3- to 5-year-olds
When young kids are presented with toys they consider to be too complex, they are likely to quickly lose interest in them. Construction toys at this age should be neither too easy nor too complex.
Tips for choosing construction toys for 3- to 5-year-olds
- Between ages 3 and 5, kids start learning about things such as numbers, letters and colours. Using construction toys can be a fun way to help kids learn about these things.
- Kids at this age are also able to build simple constructions and can greatly benefit from blocks and bricks.
Suggestions for 3- to 5-year-olds
5- to 8-year-olds
By the time they reach age 5, most children have developed some autonomy and are able to build more complicated structures.
Tips for choosing construction toys for 5- to 8-year-olds
- Choosing more complicated construction toys helps keep kids’ attention.
- Although kids should be able to come up with their own structures from their imagination, they will also appreciate models and templates they can copy from.
Suggestions for 5- to 8-year-olds
After age 8
Older kids benefit most from complex structures that require concentration, time and skill.
Suggestions for kids over 8
Making the most out of construction toys
- Encourage kids to gain interest in construction toys by choosing toys featuring their favourite heroes or TV programmes.
- Privilege toys that can be transformed into many different objects.
- Participating in construction play with younger kids teaches them how to use construction games. Remember that kids learn by modelling others’ behaviour.