A recent research review found that blocks, puzzles and other hands-on toys are still best at teaching some skills needed for success.
What skills do they teach?
- Early geometry
- The names of shapes
- Spatial reasoning (the ability to visualize and manipulate objects as they would appear in space)
How can parents help?
- When parents join their children and play with them, the dialogue they provide can also help their children learn spatial skills. For example:
- Comparing the size
- Comparing by color
- Comparing positions of objects
- Patterns (red, white, red, white, etc)
Parents should be like sports commentator giving a play-by-play on what's going on as they play with their child.
This play-by-play provides a lot of additional language input, which children can respond to in ways that they can't with electronic toys or the TV.
Speaking of electronics. How much screen time should children have?
The American Academy of Pediatrics in 2013 released guidelines on screen time. They advised against any screen time for children under the age of two years. According to them. "A child's brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens." For children beyond the age of two, They recommend no more than one-to-two hours a day.
Find the full article here. Blocks, puzzles help kids prep for school and life. Bond, Allison