Children, especially toddlers, love to play with blocks, but for you a question might arise: why do babies knock down blocks? It can sometimes be annoying for you or his/her siblings. But for them knocking down blocks is a matter of fun. They also learn different skills during this stage of their life. While Playing with and knocking down blocks, children not only learn to destroy things and create a mess, but they also learn some important and amazing skills in their lives.
Benefits of Playing with Blocks:
Blocks are the basic toys to start playing with for the children and they’re a source of learning for the kids. They are universally entertaining and can be a great way to make coordination between you and your child. Playing with building blocks can be a source of imagination, creations, and destruction skills for your children. Your kid would love to stack a tower as high as possible and then watch what happens when he knocks them down.
Through this activity, kids develop fine motor skills and learn concepts like geometry, early math, problem-solving, and cause and effect. This toy has been around for centuries, and it’s something your child should have in their toy box.
Then Why do Babies Knock Down Blocks?
Babies knock down blocks for fun and amusement. Babies in their growing age, especially from 6 months to 3 years, love to play with toys and perform other activities. There is a natural urge in children to knock down blocks or throw them off. While they do it for fun, they are also learning different skills unintentionally. Children love to destroy things and create a mess during their early childhood.
These skills will be worthwhile for them in the future. Your children will learn different aspects of science while playing with blocks and knocking them down.
What do Babies Learn When They Knock Down Blocks?
Babies start exploring the world around them while they first open their eyes in the lap of their mothers. During the first six months, this exploration is usually unintentional and natural. But after the first six months, their explorations become more specified and intentional.
Babies learn different skills when they knock down blocks while playing with them. They learn about physical activities, languages, coordination, and thinking ability. These will help them in their upcoming life. Some of the important knowledge babies gain through this block knocking activity includes:
Cause and Effect
One of the most important things children learn while playing and knocking
blocks is the “Cause and effect”. It is the idea that a specific action leads to a specific response.
When a child knocks down a block he comes to know the “Cause”of this knocking. He comes to know about the force he applies through his hand while knocking it down. Then he comes to know about the “Effect” which is caused by the applied force. So he simply learns the physical phenomenon existing in this activity. Through this activity, your child learns scientific knowledge.
When babies knock down blocks while playing with them, they learn the natural phenomenon existing around them. i.e gravity. Gravity is the special force of attraction of the earth on every object with which it attracts everything towards its center. Babies knock down blocks while playing with them and learn the existence of gravity and its impact on every object. You can teach your child why the block drops downwards when he/she knocks it down or throws it away. So in this way, the children learn about gravity and its impact on natural and physical objects.
Fine Motor Skills
When children play with blocks and love to knock them down, they learn fine motor skills. These skills involve the coordination of small muscles in movements. Babies learn to synchronize their hands and fingers with their eyes when they play with blocks. A child knocks down or holds a piece of a block with his fingers and throws it away for recreation while he learns the skills to coordinate his hands with his eyes. Fine motor skills help the children to learn about how the human body works in coordination with the brain. This is again a valuable source of knowledge.
While playing with blocks babies can learn how to work together or in coordination with each other. Working together or working in coordination is important for society to work well. Either you or your child’s siblings play with your kid or are involved with him in this recreational activity. Your child helps you in building a block tower and then listens to your instructions before breaking or knocking down the tower, he learns to work together.
“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”
When children play with and knock down blocks, they also learn an amazing skill of object permanence. The child can know that objects exist even when they are no longer seen or heard by the child or when an object is hidden from sight. When a child plays with blocks at an early age, he develops the skill of object permanence. When he cannot see the blocks he can even cry to get them back and play with them. This ability helps the children in later life to recognize and remember objects.
Colors and patterns
While playing with and knocking down blocks, babies also learn about different colors and patterns. They can differentiate between colors and even separate and collect blocks of each color. They also learn to separate blocks of different shapes like square-shaped, cubic, or circular-shaped blocks. This differentiating ability for colors and patterns will make a positive impact on the learning abilities of your child. This skill can be helpful for the future learning abilities of the kids.
Problem-solving and making observations
When a kid learns to make block buildings and has to try again and again to fit the pieces, he learns to fit and fix problems by repeating the action through different perspectives. He also makes observations while knocking it down to know how the world around him works.
Educational and Fun “Block Knocking” Activities for Babies
Block knocking activities can be fun and educational at the same time. Your child learns different skills when he knocks down blocks while playing with them. This includes both physical as well as psychological learning. Your child learns the sizes, shapes, colors, and other properties of the blocks. Learning these various properties while playing with blocks will help him in constructing various architectural structures.
What Does This Do? How Does This Work?
Playing with blocks and exploration go together. When kids play with blocks and knock them down, several questions can arise in their minds. They learn which objects and forces go together when they fill and dump. They also learn how to solve problems through trial and error while stacking the blocks in a tower.
Knocking Down a Block Tower
Building a block tower may require skills your kid will learn with age but knocking it down is as easy as he enjoys at any age especially as a toddler. Your child enjoys stacking a tower of blocks as high as possible. He then notices what happens when he knocks them down. This is one way to develop fine motor skills and learn different concepts like early maths, geometry, cause and effect, and problem-solving techniques. When a kid knocks down blocks, it can be fun and recreational for him.
Making a block tower and knocking it down by your kid must be a recreational activity for you and the child. You can instruct your child how to build a block tower.
Place a single block on the floor or a low table surface and stack more blocks on top, one by one. Count the blocks while stacking them on the tower. Build the block tower as high as it is perfect for your child and let him/her knock down the block tower with his/her hand or feet.
After building the tower, ask your baby to wait before you say,“Ready, get-set, go!” or any other anticipatory phrase. Your child will learn to wait for and listen during activities.
Knocking down a block tower helps your child develop fine motor skills, listening skills, language skills, early math skills, sensory skills, and social-emotional skills.
Dropping blocks is an act in which a child drops blocks stacked in the form of a tower. The child knocks a tower down and watches what happens in the process. He then enjoys repeating it again and again. There is another case in which a child drops down blocks. He simply lifts a block and drops it down from a certain height. A child learns the force behind this dropping down of blocks. This would be a great source to learn about gravity.
Throwing blocks is yet another way babies love to play with blocks. A child holds a block in his hand and loves to throw it away, far from him. After covering a certain distance, the block ultimately drops down to earth due to gravity. So, through this act, he can also learn about gravity. He wants to repeat this action again and again. This is a good way for a child to learn whether he is right-handed or left-handed. A kid loves both dropping down and throwing blocks during a play.
Perfecting the Pincer
The “pincer grasp” is a skill to pick up very small objects using the pointer finger and thumb. This activity takes whole muscle coordination in the fingers. Babies always begin picking up smaller objects. The child can also use this strategy in his way to ask questions or request items.
A child starts to learn and repeat actions at an early age. When a child repeats his actions over and over again, this may not always be satisfying for the parents, but babies of this age love to do it. Repeating the actions helps babies learn and develop new skills. Repeating an activity also helps babies understand the concept of cause and effect. This is the idea that a specific action always leads to a specific response. This gives your baby a chance to figure out how a process works. So, let your baby repeat the fun activities.
Best Blocks for Babies to Knock Down
There are different types of blocks for babies to stack in a tower and knock them down. These can be:
Keep in mind that there are many other varieties of blocks to stack in the tower and knock them down while playing, and if you want to find the right blocks for you, then check out ourbest building blocks for toddlers guide.
Big Building Blocks
These are the most widely used blocks for kids and toddlers. These blocks come in variable shapes and colors and can be piled up in a tower, building, bridge, or animal. Babies can build different buildings and structures using these blocks and then knock them down to learn amazing skills and knowledge. But out of all of the big building block types, we suggest the ultra lightweight cardboard blocks from GIGI Bloks, because of their incredible size and inter-locking abilities, while still remaining ultra-safe for children.
Foam blocks can be stacked in different shapes. They are durable, non-toxic, and made from high-density foam. These blocks can be used while bathing and can withstand the water. They are easy to wash and dry.
Wooden blocks are yet another type of block commonly used to pile up in the form of a tower, building, or bridge. These blocks are of various shapes, sizes, and colors. They also promote patience for building and rebuilding and choosing the best suitable block according to the need.
Some Bonus Block Play Activities 😉:
Block plays can be of different types and a single set of building blocks can be used for different block plays. Some of the most used block-plays include:
- Tote and Carry: In this block play, blocks can be piled up or moved around. This block play teaches about weight and balance. Kids quickly learn the concept of gravity through this block play.
- Stack and Row:During this play, the kid uses blocks to tie in different structures and patterns. These can be introductory math like fractions.
- Bridging:In this type of block play, the kid learns to construct his imaginative structures by putting blocks on the ground and forming a bridge by putting other blocks on top. It teaches balance and introduces symmetry and organization.
Choosing the Right Blocks:
Choice of the best blocks changes with age and as the child learns to play with them. Open-ended blocks are the best to start with, which are followed by those that come in a set to make a structure. Large foam blocks with different shapes, colors, and sizes are the safest for young toddlers. Older toddlers enjoy a set of big building blocks. With the growing age, the more complex blocks can be perfect for the growing child.
Blocks can be stored in a large container, a plastic bag or can be stacked neatly on a shelf. Different shaped blocks can be piled up by stacking them into a structure according to paper guidelines.
Few tips for the parents:
- Discourage your children from throwing blocks away as it can prevent them from creating a mess in later life.
- Make sure your kid does not climb onto an unstable block structure or bridge.
- Never discourage your child from knocking down block towers or throwing them away, as it’s a part of their learning process.
- Give your child more opportunities to play with blocks, make connections, learn more, and explore the world around him.
Playing with blocks and knocking them down is an amazing recreational activity for kids to learn with fun. It can be a helpful strategy for you as well to make a strong connection with your kid. Help him learn skills at an early age with fun.