What are some activities that can be used with babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers to enrich a wide range of cognitive skills?

Educational Experience’s education experts break down how parents and educators can have construction specific tasks for children aged 0-6.

Age 0-1:

Type of activities: Gripping, stacking, focus on fine motor skills.

What to use: Use everyday items such as pillows, books, containers.

Ages 1-2: Introduce counting and sorting, including encouraging the comparing of size and colours. Identifying differences and similarities in shapes, colours and texture will enhance fine motor and sensory development.

What to use: more construction specific material. Connecting blocks, wooden blocks, plastic bricks.

Ages 3-4: While building on basic skills, children be constructing practical, innovative designs. Increasing the complex nature of the designs helps foster creative problem solving. A good way to do this is allowing child to form teams on a single project. The ability of a child to verbalise the process and their designs, such as naming the uses of their creation, is a good sign of a child developing complex thinking skills.

Some children by this age will be able to follow plans and copy designs.  

Ages 5-6: Increasingly, numeracy and mathematical concepts can be introduced via free and structured construction play.

Angles, special awareness, process ordering, weight and increasingly complex procedures will be key moments of learning.

Further, reflecting on mistakes or problems by conversations with an adult or another child will enrich communication skills. Creating their own hand-drawn designs before construction is a sign of complex and increasingly independent thinking.

Group construction of specific buildings can lead to be highly complex and unique designs.

 In the end, building is a natural desire of many children. Embrace what your child is interested in and make it fun!