Jacob And Emma’s Lifelong Lessons Playing With Wooden Blocks
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Jacob And Emma’s Lifelong Lessons Playing With Wooden Blocks

Having children use wooden blocks to play with gives them an opportunity to start acquiring skills that they will use throughout their life. Building wooden blocks present challenges for children, which puts them in a position to seek solutions and solve problems.

Jacob (a 4-year-old boy) and his sister Emma (5-years-old) have encountered a problem. The tower that they are trying to build with wooden blocks keeps falling down after it reaches a certain height. Jacob and Emma are faced with a challenge while they are starting to catch a glimpse of balance and gravity. Jacob turns to his sister Emma and says, “I don’t know what I’m going to do.” Emma says, “Well, what if we try to put a bigger block on the bottom so the smaller blocks on the top don’t keep falling down?”

The two children are now using their imagination while building wooden blocks. They are like two scientists that are on their way to testing their hypothesis. Jacob says, “I don’t have a bigger block, but maybe I can put two of the same kind of smaller blocks together to make one big block.” He is now counting and matching wooden blocks.

Emma doesn’t realize it, but she applies spatial sense (Spatial sense is an instinctive ability to visualize and change geometric shapes) when she says, “Look, we can put these two pieces of triangles next to each other and it makes one big square that we can use to put the smaller blocks on top of so they don’t fall.”

The two children start to build the tower and all is going well, but then the wind blows and the top half of the tower falls again. Jacob gets emotional and frustrated. He says, “Oh man, not again” as he prepares to throw a wooden block. Emma says, “Wait, don’t throw the block we still need it and this time we made the tower a little taller. Come on, we can do this.” Jacob takes a deep breath and says, “Okay you’re right, we can do this, but why did it fall again?” Emma says, “The wind blew it down.” Jacob looks at the pieces and says, “Maybe the tower wouldn’t fall if we turn it this way (mental rotation) so the wind coming from over there doesn’t blow it down again.”

As they start building again, their self-esteem increases. The confidence in themselves and each other becomes stronger. They are not only building a tower made of wooden blocks they are also building character. The two children have become more resilient and persistent, but they both know from their past experiences that they must apply self-control. To rush while hoping for instant gratification will only result in the tower falling again. Jacob and Emma concentrate even harder while practicing patience.

They consistently work together while staying focused, because the location of each wooden block must be perfect. Jacob and Emma are only 4 and 5 years old but they are already applying each field of S.T.E.M (science, technology, engineering, and math) while in the process of working on their tower. They are developing emotionally and are also making progress in their social skills.

Now mother walks in and says, “Wow, that is so awesome how the both of you made that tower with wooden blocks” as the two children glow with pride while they look at what they created. Then their mother says, “Bed time is in 15 minutes so now it’s time to start putting your wooden blocks away (time management).”

At first the two children hesitate to dismantle the tower of wooden blocks that required so much of their time and effort to build. However, they seize the opportunity to apply the same discipline that they needed to build the tower by helping each other put the wooden blocks away. Jacob and Emma give each other a hug then get ready for bed. They both look forward to doing it all over again tomorrow but this time a little bit better as a result of learning from their experiences.

A great place to find Wooden Blocks for children to play with and learn from is at www.woodenblocksandmore.


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