I love blocks. If I had to reduce our toy collection to just a few toys, our blocks would definitely make the cut. They are played with nearly continuously around here. Blocks stand in for other objects, they (obviously) are great for building, they encourage creative and imaginative play and thinking. The trouble with many modern toys is that they dictate to the child how they should be played with. Blocks don't do that, it is completely up to the child to decide how to use it. Toys that make noise and light distract the child from real play because the child gets distracted by making the light and noise happen. That's not play, that's just button pushing. (Plus it's terribly annoying.) Allowing your child open-ended toys and plenty of free time is the recipe for creativity.
Case in point. K. came to us the other day wanting to show us what he had built on the third floor. We were expecting a building of some sort, what we weren't expecting was his version of the Chicago skyline. If you know the skyline at all, you can see he did a pretty remarkable job.
Here's the John Hancock building.
J. and I were just a little stunned and impressed. There are some moments where I remember vividly when I worried if the child would ever talk or learn, and this is one of them. (Edited: I initially wrote walk or talk. I don't know where my brain was, because he could most certainly walk. He had little muscle tone, but that's something he could do. Duh.)
Here is the proud builder with his city.
And as so often happens, one spurt of play encourages another. D. and some others decided they would get in on the action and built a palace. D. wanted me to post it on the blog as well, so took the pictures so I could share.
There was even a pool for the pet whales,
and long passageways.
I love blocks.