How does block play promote language development?
Many playing activities can effectively help your child to learn, for example- did you know that block play promotes language development? Language development is a cognitive skill that is very important for your child as it supports the child's ability to communicate with others and help to express his/her feelings.
Block play enhances your child's motor skills and increases the ability to understand and learn new words, and letters. Block play also plays an important role in promoting and polishing the literacy skills such as speaking and reading. You can draw letters on blocks and let the child play with them. The child will acquire letters unintentionally and once your child has learned all letters you can jump to vocabulary. This is how block play promotes language development.
How does a child learn a language?
Children acquire language automatically without any formal teaching. Babies learn by experiencing the environment around them.
Children learn language from their environment, so you can help your child by making the environment better. Some things will help your child to learn a language faster. Make your child's habit to read and speak more.
‘‘The child begins to perceive the world not only through his eyes but also through his speech’’
- Lev Vygotsky.
You can play word games with your child to expand their vocabulary. You can tell age-appropriate jokes to your children. Storytelling, songs, music, riddles, rhymes can also play a vital role in language learning.
When can my child start learning a language?
There are some stages and periods in which a child learns the language.
First of all, when a baby is born, they can hear the different sounds and distinguish more than 150 phonemes in all languages.
By 6 months they begin to babble and by 1-year babies start speaking words that might not sound exactly the same as the words of the language that they are learning. At this stage talking with your baby is very helpful. The baby talk has effective results because it contains more simple vocabulary and sentence structure than normal adult talk. So when you baby talk it is easier for babies to pick out words and sounds so they learn them faster.
At the 2nd stage, babies learn to mix sounds together to create actual meaning. They are learning mostly morphemes such as ‘mommy’. It has two morphemes ‘ma’ and ‘mee’. Babies also begin to recognize letters and words. At this stage you can help your child to develop language skills by reading to them. At this stage language promoting block play activities can also be very helpful for your child.
At the 3rd stage when babies are 2 years old, they begin to recognize nouns and verbs and start making a sentence. By the age of 3 years, they start learning grammar and expand their vocabulary. At this stage, you can help them to expand their vocabulary by using block play activities that promote language development.
Why should my child learn more than one language?
“The limits of my language are the limits of my world.”
- Ludwig Wittgenstein
For a child, it’s easy to learn a second language because they can take their time learning new words and also a child’s brain is designed for language learning. Children use the same parts of their mind to acquire a second language that they use to communicate with their mother, so it is easier for them to learn a new language in childhood than in adulthood. At the age of 5 to 10 years old your child has more ability to acquire a new language than at any other age, so this is the best time for your kiddo to learn new languages.
“To have another language is to possess a second soul.”
A study was conducted on English language acquisition and development of students in pre-kindergarten through grade 1 at a U.S.-accredited international school.
There were 1509 participants and mostly were non-native English speakers.
Results of this study are “The data provide valuable insight into the rate of second language acquisition for students at each grade level, including information on twins and students with learning differences. A strong emotional factor affecting language learning was also revealed. In addition, the researcher reviewed speaking scores to determine any far-reaching future correlation with reading/literacy test scores at the kindergarten and fourth-grade levels. Information on interventions used to raise proficiency levels and the effects of native versus non-native English speaking teachers on language scores are also included in.”
Benefits of learning a Second language
Learning a second language enhances your child's abilities like problem-solving, listening skills, critical thinking and also memory. The second language also boosts creativity and mental flexibility.
Better academic progress
Children who learned two languages in their childhood have shown better results and progress in their academic exams. A language is a great way to know about the culture of a nation. Children who have a grip on more than one language are more culturally aware of and understand the cultural differences, which makes them more open to ways of thinking.
Communication is one of the most powerful skills. Bilingual people can communicate more effectively. Also, bilingual people have more options for their career and they also get more opportunities to get a great job for themselves.
“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.”
“If you are in a pool with 10 other corporate recruiters and your collective skills are similar, knowing a foreign language can be a unique talent that gets you that coveted first interview.”
How does block play help with language development?
Block play helps to develop language by improving the child's vocabulary, words, and letters. Blocks also help the child to understand the sentence structure and its meaning. You can do many block play activities to help your child to learn a language faster.
A study was conducted by Dimitri A. Christakis, MD, MPH; Frederick J. Zimmerman, Ph.D.; Michelle M. Garrison, Ph.D. In this study, the objective was to test the hypothesis that block play improves language acquisition and attention.
After testing the hypothesis with experiments their conclusion was ‘Distribution of blocks can lead to improved language development in middle- and low-income children.
Ways how playing with blocks promotes language development
There are several ways in which block play enhances language development. Some of the most effective ones are as follows:
Organize blocks alphabetically
This activity of block play promotes language development as your child can learn the alphabet and letters while playing, which are the basics of vocabulary. You can use ABC blocks for this activity or you can use GIGI Bloks and draw letters, shapes of fruit or vegetables, or letters with different attractive colors.
Create a story using blocks
It is one of the important languages promoting block play activities. You can draw some attractive pictures on blocks and arrange them. After that, ask your children to create a story from the way that these blocks are arranged. This will help them in communication and also improve their creativity.
Ask children to arrange blocks
You can ask your children to arrange the blocks alphabetically or pick only blocks with the name of a month, or you can ask them to select only the blocks which are red, etc. This block play promotes language development because it enhances the memory of the child.
What language skills does block play enhance?
Playing with blocks promotes language development and enhances your child's language skills such as reading, speaking, and listening. These are the main skills of any language that allow your child to have a full grasp of that language.
By using attractive blocks you can get the attention of the baby fully and once you get the attention of the baby you will tell him/her how to play with blocks, how to arrange the blocks. You can also tell your child any other story, as long as you tell it in a simple way, that has no complex sentences and difficult words. The main idea is that the more the baby listens, the faster he/she will learn the language.
One thing is to listen and understand what people are saying, but another thing is speaking so that others can understand you, that is why speaking is a very important skill of mastering a language. Motivate your child to speak more and more. For this purpose, you can use blocks with different shapes drawn on them, and ask them to make a story by seeing these blocks. Playing this game helps your child in creating new stories and teaching him/her new words. In this way the more your baby talks, the more he learns new words and the more he/she gets a chance to use them in practice.
Blocks can also help your child to improve his reading ability. This can be very easy if you use ABC blocks or GIGI Bloks. Children can easily learn words and letters with play activities that promote language development. These activities would be riddles, rhymes, and synonyms written on blocks.
Block play activities that promote language development
Many block play activities promote language development such as word games, riddles, storytelling and many more!
You can expand your children’s vocabulary with this game. It is a very simple game, where you tell a word, then point out a corresponding block, then you describe what you are pointing at and then give a simple definition for that word. It encourages vocabulary development and communication skills.
Building blocks are not just a fun toy, but they are also very educational for your children. It is a great toy that you can use to introduce your child to adjectives and verbs. When your child plays with building blocks you can explain adjectives like ‘higher’ and ‘up’ and verbs like ‘build’ and ‘fall’. You can explain to them what is happening and what's the right word for the right action. You can use big building blocks to even further enhance this activity.
You can use blocks for this purpose and draw some scenes on them. Ask your children to create a story using these scenes. It will enhance their creativity, speaking skills and they will also learn many new words.
Complete the word
This game is simple. You can use different blocks each with a letter on it. Make a word while using a different block and then intentionally exclude a block and ask your children to find the right block with the right letter to complete the word. This will increase your child’s memory and also their ability to create words.
The best blocks that promote language development
The best blocks for block play that promote language development are ABC blocks and GIGI Bloks. GIGI Bloks are the best choice because these blocks are made of cardboard and you can draw letters, shapes or animals on them or you can even get them in different colors! You can stack them together and make words and sentences. ABC blocks are also great because with these blocks you can teach children the very basics of vocabulary easily. The best way for children to learn something new is through play.
‘‘In the play, a child always behaves beyond (their) average age, above (their) daily behavior. In-play it is as though (they) were a head taller than (themselves)’’
As we can see there are different aspects in using block play activities for promoting your child’s language development.
These activities have the potential to have a very important role in your child's language development and learning. With these activities, your child truly has the potential to learn a language faster and not only the native language, your child can also learn a second language and become an even more successful person in their life. We found out that block play activities have the potential to help in your child’s language development at every stage of their learning process.
It is strange to comprehend that the activity that your child enjoys the most actually can have an educational impact in their development. Nevertheless it is important to start teaching a new language to your children as early as possible.
‘‘The first five years have so much to do with how the next 80 turn out’’.
And as always: