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There are many reasons for young children to have toy blocks. It has even been said that toy blocks can change the way children think!

Blocks help young children develop social and emotional growth. A group of children will learn to take turns and share when they are playing with blocks. They can also develop friendships, become self-reliant, cooperate with others and develop self-esteem over a job well done!

Block play requires and helps improve a childís fine and gross motor skills. Building with blocks encourages color, shape and size identity, imaginary play, descriptive language, and counting.

Recently all children enrolled in one of six Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. Early Head Start socializations were provided with wooden blocks to use at home. This presents another opportunity for parents to be involved in their childís play time. When parents play with their children, the children are willing to talk to them and show them what they have created out of their blocks. This then encourages a child to learn new words and increase their vocabulary. If a parent engages the child with questions about what he is building, this can teach and develop conversational skills.

Blocks are one of the simplest toys on the market. For that reason, it might be difficult to understand how something so simple can offer so many learning opportunities and benefits. But in this fast-paced world, it is wonderful to know that a simple set of blocks can do so much!

Photo Caption:       Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. Early Head Start children were provided with wooden blocks to use at home. With his momís support and encouragement Bradley, a child enrolled in the Athens Early Head Start Program created a block home for his favorite cars.