Building blocks can be used to develop many skills we work on in occupational therapy. We would like to talk to you about imitation of block design and all the different areas this will help your child. First, do you have wooden blocks or plastic? In my opinion, wooden blocks are the best because wooden blocks offer a variety of sensory input — from the texture, to the smell of the blocks, and the grains in the wood that give the child added input onto their fingertips. Plastic blocks will also work for imitation skills.
Imitating gives your child the opportunity to develop several of the following skills:
- Following a model and directions – attention
- Fine motor skills – pincer grasp
- Visual motor skills – visual perceptual
- Proprioception skills – muscle movement
- Open-ended play – imagination
- Sensory input — textures and smells
Stacking blocks or building blocks is a fine motor skill; when children are doing this, they are developing and refining their skills and senses. If you are able to add different colors, this is a good way to add extra development to their activity and skills. Here are a few different pictures of different block designs we use in the clinic with your child to imitate while building:
Blocks are a great toy to work on many different skills in a child’s early development. Have fun watching your child grow and learning from their imagination. If you have any concerns with your child’s development, give TEAM 4 Kids a call at 623-322-8250 to schedule an evaluation.
Linda Alvis, COTA