Questions in block play can increase your child’s vocabulary

Questions to use during block play to help language development in children.

Blocks with letters

Playing blocks with your child can be an excellent way to help increase their vocabulary and enhance overall language development. Block play may lead to enhanced language usage through the offering of questions and concepts that can be part of everyday interactions through play. Playing with blocks can be an important part of your daily routine to help support communication and language development with one-on-one interactions. In this series of articles, you will learn some specific questions to use to interact with your child using blocks to increase their developmental skills.

There are many ways to increase vocabulary and language by playing with blocks. Playing with blocks can increase the ability to understand letters and print, learn new words and use imagination in play. Block play can also lead to increased listening, understanding differences and understanding similarities. As you use blocks to play with your children, it is essential to be aware of some important and fun questions you can ask to support their learning and increasing of vocabulary and language.

Questions for learning about imagination with blocks:

  • What did you decide to make with your blocks?
  • What would happen if you placed your block here?
  • Tell me about what you made with your blocks. How did you choose to make that?
  • What would you like to use to add to what you made with your blocks?

Questions for learning about letters and print with blocks:

  • Can you use the blocks to spell your name?
  • Can you point to the blocks that look like letters? What letters do they look like?
  • Would you like to make a sign for your store, restaurant, hospital, whatever they built?
  • What blocks look like the letter U, the letter V, the letter O, etc.?

Questions for learning about differences with blocks:

  • What makes these blocks look different?
  • Can you find a red block, a blue block, a green block, etc.?
  • Can you find a small block, a large block?
  • Which one is the small block, which one is the big block?

Questions for learning about listening with blocks:

  • Can you tell me what you’re building with the blocks?
  • How did you decide what to make with the blocks?
  • What shape is the block you’re holding? What color is it?
  • How did you stack the blocks so tall? How did you make the block trail so long?

Questions for learning about same/similar with blocks:

  • Can you find a block that looks just like this one?
  • Show me another red block, blue block, yellow block, etc.?
  • Can you find a block similar to this square one (triangle, circle, etc.)?

Questions for learning about new words/reading using blocks:

  • What can you tell me about this block? What about the block you are holding?
  • Can you find a block with letters on it? What are the letters you see?
  • Can you use your blocks to spell a word (doesn’t have to be right, just that they try)?
  • Can you use the blocks to make a letter A, B, C, D, etc.?

Using any of these questions while playing with blocks can help a child increase their language and vocabulary. Working to develop language skills at an early age can help a child express their feelings, make their wants known without frustration and lead to developing meaningful interactions with others before they start school.

Another great spot to search for language and vocabulary development resources is the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). They offer many activities, ideas and articles for language skill building and are a great place to find extra resources for helping children increase their overall developmental skills.

For more information on developing vocabulary and language skills, please see these articles provided by Michigan State University Extension:

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