Activities with Mega Blocks and Magnet Tiles

Babies and Toddlers, blog , , ,

Mega Blocks

Many children enjoy playing with building blocks.  These are great for working on a variety of skills.  Whenever you are playing with your child try to make eye contact when you speak to him/her, and try to encourage your child to look towards your face or eyes by holding a toy that they are interested in close to your mouth. Speak clearly and use just a few words at a time.  Check out these activities.

Color and Number Sorting

This is a pretty easy one.  Have your child divide the blocks into the different colors.  If your child is just starting with colors only use two at a time, then add in another and another until he is confident in his ability to sort the colors. You can make towers, piles or whatever building you want.  Then move on to numbers.  This is a little harder because the numbers aren’t written on the blocks.   Count the bumps on each piece and separate them by number that way.  I started with one color and then added in more.  It is more challenging to focus in on one distinct feature when there are other differences, but this is a good skill to work on.

Matching

This activity is similar to the sorting, but instead have your child make pairs of blocks based on a similar characteristic.  Pair up blocks with the same number of bumps.  Then try adding the same number of bumps and the same color .   Again, this helps teach your child to focus in on the characteristic of interest despite all the other colors and numbers he might notice.

Fine Motor

Stacking and pulling the blocks apart are a great way to work on fine motor skills. Practice pointing to each block with an index finger as you count them and have your child do the same.  Stack the single blocks up 6-7 blocks high, then count “1,2,3, GO!” and push them over.  Ask your child, “What happened?”  Pause for 5 seconds and if your child doesn’t answer say “It fell over”.

 

Magnet Tiles

Magnet tiles are a great tool to use with many children.  They come in various shapes and colors and offer endless creative options. In addition to using them to sort and match colors, there are some other activities that you can do with them.

Count the edges

For each shape of tile you can count the edges. Name the shapes and talk about how squares and rectangles have 4 sides, and triangles have 3 sides. Use an index finger to touch each side as you count. Whenever you talk about the tiles be sure to use the name of the color, for example, say “The blue square has 4 sides.”

Make New Shapes

Use the squares to make cubes, use the triangles to make a pyramid.  Talk about these shapes and how they have an inside and outside. Use the rectangles to make squares.  Get creative, see what shapes you can make and count the sides, talk about the colors, etc.  Your shapes can be flat or 3 dimensional.

Make Patterns

Use the mega blocks or tiles to make patterns. Keep it simple, alternate 2 colors. I do not expect 2-3yr olds to understand the concept of patterns, but it’s a great thing to expose them to and practice.  You can make a simple game in which you clap your legs when you see a blue one and clap your hands when you see a red one.  Make a stack of alternating colors and clap to the colors as you say them.

 

If you don’t have these toys here are some you might be interested in:

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