Why Blocks Are the One Toy Every Kid Should Have on Their Shelf

Little blond child playing with lots of colorful wooden blocks
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When Ritchie Blackmore said, “simplicity is the key,” he might as well have been speaking of constructive play. Research that explores the effect of constructive play has found that assembling blocks comes with many benefits.

1 | Blocks help develop kids’ spatial intelligence

In his book “Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons,” Gardner Howard defines spatial intelligence as the ability or mental skill to visualize objects from different angles and facets. It’s also the ability to notice fine details when we visualize objects.

Most of the studies on constructive play have found that assembling games help develop kids’ spatial abilities. For instance, one study analyzed how block-building helped develop spatial-reasoning skills in children in kindergarten. The kids were divided into three groups. Block-building activities were proposed to two groups and the third group acted as a control group. The researchers found that block building helped children develop wider spatial skills.

2 | Blocks foster creativity

In one study, 51 preschoolers’ play preferences were analyzed. The researchers were interested in the kids’ skills at assembling block structures as well as their visual-spatial skills. The study found that the children who were most interested in constructing block structures were able to come up with more creative productions and were also able to produce more varied creations.

3 | Blocks help in language acquisition

One study examined children aged one (to one and a half) to two (to two and a half) years to determine whether playing with blocks helps improve language acquisition and retention. The children received two sets of building blocks and their parents were asked to keep a diary to record block play. The study…

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