We here at Click-A-Brick™ appreciate the educational potential that toys have. You may look at a child quietly (or, more likely, noisily) playing with a toy and think they’re just merrily playing away without a care in the world. And, they are. But, what you may not know is that they’re also learning as they play.
Building toys have a long and established reputation as being great educational tools for children. For the wee ones, they help with physical development, as the children work their muscles to connect and disconnect the blocks. Plus, for them and for older children, building toys also help develop problem solving skills, cognitive thinking and stimulate creativity.
Whether you’ve already purchased the Click-A-Brick™ Animal Kingdom Safari 30pc Educational Toys Building Blocks Set for Boys and Girls on Amazon.com or you’re thinking about purchasing it, use these tips for engaging your children with it. But, fair warning, though; you’ll need to get down there on the floor with them. Click-A-Brick™ is best enjoyed when you actively get involved in your child’s playing.
Show young children the building basics.
While we recommend Click-A-Brick™ for ages three and up, it’s a good idea to give the younger kids a bit of a tutorial (no need to make a PowerPoint presentation, though). Just show them how to click the bricks together and how to pull them apart. Guide their hands a few times if you think that’ll help.
Help build the lion from the instructions.
The Animal Kingdom Safari building toy set comes with detailed instructions for building a lion. When you help your kids build the lion from the instructions, you can introduce the idea of identifying the pieces based on the pictures of them. Show them how they can compare the piece to the picture and see if it’s the right one.
Use the detailed photos to encourage children to build the other animals.
You can also build a camel, wolf, monkey and giraffe with the Animal Kingdom Safari building toy set. These animals don’t come with instructions like the lion does, but they do come with detailed photos. Our thought was that once children get used to identifying the pieces they’ll need to build the lion, they should be able to look at the photos and figure out which pieces go where for the other animals.
You can help them identify these pieces by showing them how to compare the pieces to what they see in the photos. You don’t always have to choose the correct piece, either. You can specifically choose a piece that you know to be incorrect and ask your child if they think it’s the right piece. They’ll love pointing out to mom or dad that it’s not the right piece and feel an extra sense of accomplishment when they’re the ones who identify the right piece to use. This will help children develop their problem solving skills as they figure out which blocks go where.
Ask children what else they think they could build with the blocks.
Start with other animals (it is the Animal Kingdom Safari set, after all) and see what their imaginations can come up with. Once they realize they can use Click-A-Brick™ to build anything they can imagine, they’ll start imagining all kinds of stuff. You can even get in touch with your inner child (you’ll find them hanging out near your medulla oblongata) and lead by example by creating some stuff of your own. What can you imagine to create?
Ask your children to build a ‘sculpture.’
Kids don’t always need to have a specific thing in mind when they build. Sometimes, it’s fun just to connect the bricks randomly and see what you come up with. Something identifiable might emerge, but then again, it might not. It doesn’t matter!
And, lastly, and this goes without saying, have fun. More than anything, that’s what we want with Click-A-Brick™. We want children and parents to have fun while they play (and learn).