Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size
A
A
A

Building Blocks May Aid Language Skills

Parents Report Improved Language Skills in Children Who Play With Building Blocks
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Block Play and Language

Oct. 1, 2007 -- Playing with building blocks may build children's language skills, a new study shows.

The study included 175 Seattle families with children aged 18-30 months.

Half of the families received a free set of plastic building blocks and a booklet suggesting ways for toddlers to play with the blocks. For comparison, the other families got the free building blocks at the end of the six-month study.

When the study ended, the parents completed a questionnaire in which they rated their child's language skills.

Among middle- and low-income families (who accounted for most of the participating families), the children's language skills were rated 15% higher for families that got the free building blocks at the study's start.

Did the building blocks explain those results? Maybe, but that's not definite.

Perhaps the parents who received the building blocks paid more attention to their children's language skills. Or perhaps the toddlers in those families had more time to work on their language skills because they spent less time watching television.

The researchers -- who included Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH, of the University of Washington -- call for further studies on the topic.

The findings appear in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

The study was funded by Mega Blocks, which provided the toys for the participating families.

(Does your toddler play with blocks? Why or why not? Talk with others on WebMD's Parenting: 1-Year-Olds message board.)

Today on WebMD

preschool age girl sitting at desk
Article
look at my hand
Slideshow
 
woman with cleaning products
Slideshow
young boy with fever
Article
 

worried kid
fitArticle
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

WebMD Special Sections