The satisfaction and joy of knocking a big pile of things over never really leaves us. Who doesn’t cherish those moments when a giant tower of wooden blocks suddenly crashes down with its thunderous roar, the ensuing laughter, only to build it up and try again! Remember those epic card towers, the couch pillow piles, or even jumping in a huge leaf pile spreading those leaves back over the yard? There is something satisfying and essentially human about piling things up and then letting that pile crash and fall. Not only is this innate urge fun, but it turns out, it’s developmentally necessary and important for our children’s growing bodies and brains.
Stacking Games Develop Core Skills
By practicing a variety of stacking and learning games, children enhance their abilities to problem solve while working on balance and spatial awareness. Is that last block going to tip the whole tower? Can I add one more thing? When the tower crashes down, they develop the ability to laugh it off and try again. Persistence, grit, and resilience. Oh my goodness, such important skills!
Creative & Enriching Children's Games
There are other more subtle things that get strengthened each time your child approaches this type of game or activity. Hand-eye coordination and fine and gross motor skills are all stretched by these activities. Not to mention the subtle ability to judge sizes, height, width, and weight, which are all part of numeracy skills. For example, how many blocks will it take to make my tower as tall as me or as high as the table? Should I add a small block or a larger one?
We sell a variety of creative and enriching stacking and arranging games at HABA such as our 3D Viridis Wooden Stacking Game, our beloved Rhino Hero game, and our Farm Balancing Stacking Game. And we have endless, classic wooden block sets which can be used to create giant stacks and towers!
Enhance Your Child's Creativity & Play
To enhance your child’s creativity, you can add some easy to find household items to our block sets to make the towers and piles even more wobbly and towering. Adding cardboard boxes, pillows, plastic containers, cups and bowls, dominoes, and even small toys will make creative and multi-dimensional stacks.
To prepare for stacking adventures, there are a few things you can do to make it even more fun and successful for your child and family.
- Clear a space for this activity so there is a lot of room to spread out and grow the stack. You can use a coffee table or the floor as a base.
- Guide your child by encouraging them to keep trying to go higher. Some kids won’t need this push, but others might need a little nudge to keep taking risks.
- Make sure to share in the laughter as the pile falls and encourage them to try again.
Bring the Fun Outdoors
Arranging and stacking can also be translated into outdoor play. Perhaps your child can make a tower that includes a water feature by stacking a variety of plastic containers and then pouring water over them to see how the water flows. This is a great lesson in momentum and gravity. Making a fort or fairy house out of sticks often uses many of these stacking principles and the lessons of perseverance and patience are extra applicable as kids work to find sticks that stack evenly.
But perhaps the best pile of all… is an end of the day pig pile of pillows and stuffed animals to jump on and celebrate another fun day of stacking up wonder!
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