How Building Blocks Teach Kids to Think Big

I'm not going to lie, I love playing with blocks.  I loved it as a kid.  I love them so much, about a week ago, my wife and I bought our fourteen month old son some building blocks.  Since the ones we bought were meant for little kids, think of them as really large Legos.  They work almost the exact same way.

Almost every day, my son and I play with them together.  It's part of our dad-son bonding time.  Sometimes I build towers and he destroys them.  Other times he passes me all the pieces from the container one at a time and I build a structure as he passes them to me.  Sometimes he'll take a piece and add it to the stack I'm working on. 

Playing with him not only develops our relationship, it also teaches him how to share.  He is sharing his toys with me along with his time.  By playing with him, I'm teaching him all that and a little more.

It helps him learn logical thinking skills.  The blocks can only interlock when they're right side up.  All of the pieces are designed to connect that way.  If he wants to build something, he needs to recognize this order.  It also helps him with his reasoning, analytical thinking, and problem solving skills, which can be helpful in any career he chooses to be in. 

It helps him develop spatial thinking skills.  Not all the pieces are the same length or height.  Different pieces fit differently.  He needs to learn that two pieces can't be in the same space at the same time.  If he wants to be an architect, doctor, engineer, or anything with design and math, he will need these skills.

It helps him develop creativity and divergent thinking skills.  He can build anything he wants to.  He can build towers, airplanes, animals, or anything that comes to mind.  There isn't a specific way he has to make any of that; he can build anything in any way.  Great companies and products are made from people thinking creatively. 

Sometimes playing with blocks is more than just playing with blocks.

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