The classic play

Are building blocks outdated for today’s children?

The range of toys available to children today is endless, and the market share of electronic toys is growing enormously. These toys emit strong visual and acoustic stimuli and children are immediately attracted to them. Does this mean that building blocks are outdated, and a waste of space in children’s toy boxes? Experts say definitely not. Playing means learning. Important skills for later in life are developed in the process of play. Games and toys that  put the child in the role of passive spectator fail to achieve this desired learning effect. Additionally, children often lose interest in these electronic toys very quickly. When building, children are actively involved in determining the outcomes of their playing experiences. Because nothing is predefined, they can immerse themselves in their fantasy worlds and completely be themselves. The concentration and focus children use while building allow for groundbreaking and very personal experiences which in turn lead to a higher quality of educational play.

What exactly is fostered when playing with building blocks? 

Building skills develop as soon as a child of 12 to 18 months begins to arrange or stack two building blocks. Playing with building blocks stimulates the following developmental aspects in children:

  • giving
  • taking
  • grasping and exploring objects
  • dexterity (fine motor skills)
  • the ability to combine
  • spatial thinking
  • sense of colour
  • understanding of physical laws and quantities
  • endurance, concentration, patience and stamina, as well as creativity and language

Building toys such as Ligno and Naef-Spiel, for example, can be used in many different ways time and time again. The possibilities range from simple to complex constructions – depending on the age and ability of the child. If Ligno and Naef-Spiel are combined, the range of building variations broadens. For even more challenging constructions, other sets of blocks from Naef can be added, such as Cubicus, Angular, Mosaic and Rainbow. Thus, building blocks are among the most creative toys of all and are fascinating for girls and boys alike.