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How Construction Toys Help with Motor Skills

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 21 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Construction Toys Child Coordination

Construction toys like Lego, building blocks and Meccano are long time childhood favourites that kids will enjoy playing with throughout their childhood. They are fun, versatile and help teach child coordination. Construction toys have long been said to help improve fine motor skills in children, so if you sit your little ones down in front of a Lego set for a few hours you’re doing them good, too.

Fine Motor Skills In Children - What are Fine Motor Skills?

Fine motor skills are the skills which give a child the ability to manipulate different objects, materials and tools. These can be for tasks like writing, using a computer mouse, making a plasticine sculpture or a Lego building.

The main fine motor skills are

  • Grasping things - a pencil, brush, glue stick, or building blocks
  • Manipulating – using playdoh, clay, paper, or scissors
  • Hand eye co-ordination - writing, moving a mouse.

All of these skills can be improved with construction toys, where a child has to grasp the blocks, manipulate them into a recognisable form, and move the pieces about to create attractive designs.

Why Do Children Need to Learn Fine Motor Skills?

Children who don’t have developed fine motor skills can have problems with eating, writing working on a computer, and even dressing themselves properly.

Construction Toys which Help Coordination and Fine Motor Skills:

Many toys are excellent for developing a child’s coordination and fine tuning motor skills. Depending on their age, you will be able to find a huge selection of toys which fit the bill perfectly.

  • Infants and Toddlers: During the first year of life, babies are constantly growing and learning. Babies learn about everything by using their hearing, sight, touch, and taste, so choose toys that help their development by using as many of those sense as you can. Toys like play mats and baby gyms that give babies a chance to press buttons, make sounds and touch things will stimulate babies and keep them happy for hours.
  • For toddlers and pre-school children - Toddlerhood is a stage where little children have to use child coordination skills to learn to walk – usually from around 12 month - 36 months. At this age children are into everything and start to become more independent. Train their developing motor skills with brightly coloured stacking toys and rings, shape sorters, puzzles and simple construction toys like Duplo and construction kits with large, brightly coloured pieces. Look for kits which contain interlocking blocks which can be pushed together, and don’t have to be manipulated too much.
  • For school aged children, board games with pieces and parts to pick up and move are great for developing child coordination and helping children think about where things go and how to put them in the right place. More complicated sets for school aged children include Meccano, and craft sets, building sets and Lego kits with themes like Star Wars and similar. Keep adding to the sets as the children grow. Older children might enjoy making complicated and intricate projects with more specialised hobby kits – this also appeals to their need to complete projects.

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