Need a simple Breakfast Invitation so you can drink your coffee hot? *Gasp!* I got you. Block play is a fantastic way to encourage higher-level thinking, and I am here to tell you why.
Blocks make an incredible open-ended play and should be one of your go-to’s for the best toys for kids. My toddler loves this activity because it promotes higher-level thinking, problem-solving, and so much more! I can’t wait to share this block play activity with you.
RELATED: Want blocks that you’ll use for years? Check out this block play collection of toys.
How Do You Introduce Block Play?
We used this preschool activity for a Breakfast Invitation. All I did was set it up the night before, introduce the activity, then sit and drink my tea before it got cold (for once!).
RELATED: Want to use your blocks again? Use blocks for nonstandard measurement!
Use This Guide to Start Block Play
Add this block play to your preschool activity list for fun and development. Allow time, space, and open-ended materials to help this block play reach its fullest potential! It’s so simple and makes a great Breakfast Invitation you can use time and time again.
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- Marker – Any pen will do! I like to use a black marker, so the circle is easy for your toddler to see.
Large Lacing Bead Set for Kids
This lacing bead set comes with large colored blocks to stack.
Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Solid-Wood Building Blocks
These simple wooden blocks should be a staple in your open-ended toys.
You will need this supply for nearly every kids’ activity!
RELATED: Use blocks to rediscover 3D shapes with this easy setup.
How to Set Up Block Play
Step 1. Gather every block you have floating around your home.
First, I collect any blocks I have around the house. This includes blocks of any color and shape and cubes of any size.
Add the blocks to a basket, and get ready to have some playful learning (see block options in the supplies list below). Stacking blocks and lacing beads also work for this block play.
Step 2. Tape white paper onto your table.
After you’ve taped down a large piece of white paper from your white paper roll, draw a circle in marker pen in the center and write ‘How Tall?’ beneath it. The circle is so your child has a particular spot to concentrate on building their blocks and improving their focus.
Step 3. Sit back and sip your morning beverage.
You can begin the activity with the conversation starter: “How tall do you think you could stack these blocks before they topple over??”
Watch your child make predictions, experiment with their thinking, and investigate how many blocks they can stack before watching it fall.
Why is Playing With Blocks Useful?
- Construction and Building – It allows preschoolers to build whatever they want in various ways, making it a great STEM activity.
- Encourages exploration – Young learners explore ideas and make connections to prior knowledge.
- Inspires constructive play and problem-solving – “Ooh, I wonder what happens when I do this? Why does it keep falling over when I do that?” Children create questions on their own to complete a task or solve a problem. Preschoolers now have to problem-solve and predict how many blocks they will need before they begin the activity.
- Open-ended – Blocks are open-ended materials that encourage children to be creative and explore three-dimensional materials to develop critical thinking. This thinking is crucial for helping our preschoolers better understand how to extend thinking and make connections to what they have already learned.
- Supports inquiry-based learning – Inquiry-based learning is active learning that is started by asking questions and requires thinking skills to continue, building upon prior knowledge. Using it in block play prompts predicting, experimenting, and explaining.
Check out how children build important life skills through play.
RELATED: Having inspiring open-ended toys is worth the investment. Check out our favorite toys here.
Activities on Demand
Want great ideas without the ads? Download these 20 hands-on learning games for kids.
Looking for More Block Play Ideas?
- Nature Block Stack; a Toddler Fine Motor Activity
- Shaving Cream and LEGOS Messy Play
- Measuring Kids with Blocks
Frequently Asked Questions
The Melissa and Doug 60-piece solid wood building blocks are the perfect starter set for toddlers and preschoolers. This toy list for kids includes our favorite block set for toddlers and preschoolers.
Block play is a form of constructive play. Block play will increase in difficulty as the child gets older and has more experience. Block play helps cognitive development because children are thinking about what they would like to build, using hand-eye coordination to test ideas, and making adjustments when the plan does not work.
Keep blocks where your child can reach. Keep blocks sorted by type and other toys in another area. This organization helps children deepen their ideas and strengthens their focus to create.