Block toys are often solid three-dimensional shapes, molded from plastic, or cut from wood or foam. They are used as construction pieces, to be stacked into walls or towers. These building block toys can be square to imitate bricks, or cylindrical to imitate pillars, or arch-shaped, or pyramidal or triangle prism-shaped to imitate slanted roofs or stairway banisters. Most building block sets would come in a variety of these.
In playing with building blocks, a child can develop eye-hand coordination, learn shape recognition, and gain an intuitive experience of such things as gravity and balance. As early as 1798, Maria Edgeword and R.L. Edgeworth introduced what they called “rational toys” or building blocks that were intended to teach very young children about how different pieces can join up to make a whole.
In addition to this rational aspect of building blocks, a pair or group of children can work as a team to set up a larger structure in less time. This takes communication and compromise. After which, their diligence is rewarded by the finished building, which they can even use the finished structure as a prop for their stories - or, also a source of great fun, promptly demolish.
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