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Doing learning activities with your children doesn’t have to be a big to-do. I like to grab things we already have and use them in fun new ways. A great toy to utilize are Mega Bloks! These are great blocks that give kids a chance at open-ended imaginative play, and on their own, they help with a STEM mindset in terms of building and spatial relations. But you can do even more directed learning with them. Here are 6 learning activities using Mega Bloks.
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. Then move on to numbers. This is a little harder because the numbers aren’t written on the blocks. I had Ben 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.
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 in the color factor. It can become a game between you, who can find the pairs the fastest. Again, this helps teach your child to focus in on the characteristic of interest despite all the other colors and numbers he might notice.
Same and Different
This is another variation on the matching theme. It is easy to note when two items are the same and when they are different based on one characteristic. But what if there are multiple traits to look at? And what if the items have some of those traits in common and some that are different? That can be confusing to sort out. I take out similar pieces, such as the piece with 4 bumps in a square and the one with 4 bumps in a row. Both have the 4 in common, but they have a different arrangement.
These blocks are wonderful for practicing patterns. I start off a pattern and let Ben replicate it. Then I ask him to continue the patter beyond what I demonstrated. The better your child gets at this the more complicated you can make the patterns! (And it is totally okay if the pattern stacks turn into swords. That’s been known to happen in our house. 😉
Basic Addition and Subtraction
Mega Bloks are perfect for showing basic addition and subtraction. Your child can physically see you adding together numbers and count up the total, along with seeing subtraction in action. My goal with this is just to introduce the ideas, not necessarily get it down perfectly. You can set up some blocks on a piece of paper with a plus or minus sign and an equal sign and set up some problems for your child. I also like to let Ben put blocks down and create his own math problem and we count it out together.
You can use dry erase markers to write letters on the blocks. We practice spelling basic words, like Ben’s name. First I have Ben match up the letters to ones I have written then try on his own. I also write capital and lower case letters on different blocks so Ben can match them up. With the dry erase marker you can focus on whatever words and letters you want, then just wipe it off when you are done!
You don’t need fancy toys or flashcards to help your child learn. Grab what you have in your home and work with it! One final thing I love about using these blocks is that Ali and Sammy can be playing with them while I focus on learning with Ben. How do you use your blocks to learn?
Check out these other fun learning activities!
If you don’t have Mega Bloks you can check them out here: