10 Reasons to Tell Your Kids to Stop Doing Schoolwork and Go Build Something!

Jan 06, 2012 3 Comments by

Would you like to supplement your curriculum with a program that simultaneously improves your child’s visual perception, fine-motor skills, patience, problem solving, spatial perception, creativity, ability to follow directions, pre-reading skills, grasp of physics concepts and engineering ability? Better yet, what if your child could actually enjoy this curriculum and choose to do it whenever they could? No, this isn’t some mythical homeschool product guaranteed to solve all your problems for a large fee – we are talking about the Legos already strewn through your house, the Wedgits in our Toddler curriculum and the Nano blocks designed for teens.

Construction kits just might be the most underrated curriculum ever. It’s not just us; research concludes that children learn a lot by designing and building things. Based on our own engineering background/ bias, we believe that construction is one of the most valuable educational processes available and that both learning to build and learning by what has been built should be a part of every family’s curriculum. Here are our top 10 skills your child will learn with their construction kit:

Wooden Magnets - Smart Blocks
1 ) Visual Perception

It may be obvious that it takes visual perception to find the right pieces and place them well, but consider that whether your child is reading, finishing a puzzle, or doing open heart surgery, a proficiency in visual perception is mandatory!

Ollo Deluxe Inventor set
2 ) Fine-Motor Skills

Boys especially seem to struggle with fine motor skills, particularly when it comes to writing and drawing. Amazingly enough though, they are often the most passionate about building – the natural remedy! The more they fine-tune their dexterity the easier “school time” becomes, for both of you!

Nano Blocks - Challenginge Legos for Adults and Teens
3 ) Patience

Do you know anyone that couldn’t stand to be a little more patient? Construction takes time. Slowing down, reading the directions, doing it over when a piece has been placed wrong or a sibling knocks over your creation… all valuable character-building experiences!

 Metal Earth Models
4 ) Problem Solving

Some children simply lack the ability to trouble-shoot a situation and figure out the next step. Construction sets provide a structured opportunity to figure out what went wrong and fix it, if you’re following the directions. If you are designing your own models, you’ll have even more opportunities to problemsolve!

Wedgits Construction Kits
5 ) Spatial Perception

Probably the clearest picture of how important it is to be able to mentally convert 2D images into 3D objects is that of a surgeon. Knowing in 2D where the spleen is on a textbook page, isn’t nearly the same thing as being able to reach into an incision and find the damaged spleen!

Tegu wooden magnet kit
6 ) Creativity

Not every creative person has artistic ability. I don’t! But construction can open the doors of creativity like no other tool. What if move this gear over here? Could I build that bridge with only blue pieces?

Bloco foam construction kit
7 ) Ability to Follow Directions

Some children are natural rule-followers and need to be encouraged to be creative. Others need to constrain themselves to following directions, at least on occasion! If your child falls into that camp, construction kits are a natural way to encourage them in this skill, with the added benefit of a finished result they can show off to dad!

The Best Magnet Set for Toddlers!
8 ) Pre-Reading Skills

Did you know that a child that cannot duplicate a pattern will be a poor candidate for reading and writing? Not only that, the use of pattern duplication is a proven approach to helping prepare children to understand abstract math concepts and higher order thinking. But if you have a scholar who rolls his eyes at working with pattern blocks and sighs deeply when asked to replicate a design with traditional four-sided blocks, you need construction kits!

Zoob Challenge
9 ) Grasp of Physics Concepts

Friction, force, mass, energy… all basic physics concepts much more easily explained and grasped with a set of blocks and a ball than simply by studying a dry textbook definition!

Award Winning Engino Construction Kits
10 ) Engineering Ability

Many “born engineers” are not drawn to textbooks. But set a construction kit in front of them and watch them explore pulleys, levers, wheels, gears… They’ll soon go from exploration to innovation and you’ll be amazed at their inventions!


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About the author

The oldest of the "Timberdoodle children" I now work full time for the company, filling such roles as marketing manager, curriculum adviser, video producer, etc. In my spare time I enjoy reading, babysitting, baking, and volunteering with our local school district, in the church and as an EMT with the fire department.

3 Responses to “10 Reasons to Tell Your Kids to Stop Doing Schoolwork and Go Build Something!”

  1. Andrea says:

    What building “toy” does everyone suggest for a soon to be 5 year old?

    • Mary says:

      We really love the Fisher Price Trio block sets. Our kids received a starter set from their grandparents about a year ago. It quickly became their favorite toy. We have added to their collection since then so they have enough blocks that they aren’t fighting over them. I think they are easier for young kids to manipulate than traditional legos and more versatile than the lego duplo blocks. Our kids are 7 and 5 years old, think they’ll be using these blocks for several more years. When they are older we’ll probably get some legos.

    • deborah says:

      It wouldn’t be too early to start Legos in my opinion! Our kids have also enjoyed the Bloco builders.

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