I love when I can draw Veronika’s attention to her blocks in novel ways, and here were three ways to grab her attention today. As a bonus, all of them involved different types of learning!
For the first, I typed up the alphabet in big letters and printed out the page, then cut it apart so each letter was an individual square. Tape one letter per one of your child’s building blocks, and each block becomes its own specific letter!
As I taped them on, we said the name of each letter and its phonetic sound, and sang through the Alphabet Song several times. Then it was time for her simply to play! But as she built towers, I named the block she was holding. “Oh, you have the G block!” I could say, or, “B block is on top of A block!”
I plan to leave these little labels on so that her familiarity with each letter symbol increases every time we dump out the bin of blocks.
For the second novel way to play, we focused on two different skills: counting and listening to instructions. Thanks to a great tip from Hands on as We Grow, I used the cards from our Candyland board game to give her specific directions.
Draw a card and ask your toddler to hand across whatever appears on it. “Can you find me one blue block?” I asked her, holding up the Candyland card with one red square. She was an ace at handing me one block of the appropriate color, whether the green, yellow, or red that followed.
Things got a little trickier for her when I pulled a double color (a kid favorite when playing Candyland, of course).
“Can you hand me two red blocks?” I asked. She seemed confused, so I pointed to the squares on the card. “One, two!” and then lined it up with two blocks. “One, two!” I repeated. It was hard for her to focus on this challenge, so we turned to game number three…
…which was actually a repeat of a block puzzle game we played a few months back, but last time I made the puzzle much too big. Tape out a small square or rectangle on the floor with painter’s tape and show your child how to arrange blocks in, puzzle-piece style!
Veronika especially liked when there were small spaces to fill, like the semi-circle that completed an archway or a small circle inside a square block.
Not, bad, with a little mommy help! Older kids can make their taped areas progressively larger as they grow more skilled at this.
How does your toddler learn with blocks these days? Please share in the comments!