Developmental Stages of Block Play

developmental-stages-of-block-play.JPG

Guys did you know there are different developmental stages of playing with blocks?! I was so intrigued when I first heard this in my child development classes in college (side note: Ruben thinks I’m so weird since I actually enjoyed reading my text books in school). Seriously though, when I first heard this I was skeptical, I thought, surely kids don’t really follow this order, but as I taught preschool for a few years and observed my kids I realized they really do follow this sequence! Seriously so cool haha. Here’s what the developmental stages of block play are: 
STAGE 1: Tote and Carry (usually 1-3 y.o.) where children carry around blocks and feel their weight and pile them around
STAGE 2: Building begins (starts around 3 y.o.) children will stack blocks vertically or horizontally in a row. There is a lot of repetition in this stage and where imagination comes in (i.e. roads for cars)
STAGE 3: Bridging (3-4 y.o.) children start experimenting with connecting blocks, usually with a space between them by using a third block (exploring balance and further working coordination) 
STAGE 4: enclosures (4 y.o.) Enclosures like bridges become landscapes for imaginative play and props (such as dolls, farm animals, cars etc) 
STAGE 5: Representational Building (4-5 y.o.) symmetry, patterns, balance with an element of dramatic play to their block structures
STAGE 6: complex building (5+) block building becomes elaborate with curved buildings, multiple levels, building other structures and toys with a wide range of types and sizes of blocks

My little child development momma brain was so stoked to see my 22 month old start stacking blocks on top of each other! Way more giddy than most people probably! What stage is your child at?

Stage 3 of Block Play: Bridging

Stage 3 of Block Play: Bridging