When toddlers play with their toy blocks, they are like a future demolition crew member in training. When preschoolers play with their toy blocks, they are like future architects in training. No matter what age your child is, at some point, they will become obsessed with building towers with their blocks. Tower building is a skill that takes careful thought and practice, so having a grown up on-hand to offer pointers will help a child to be successful in his quest to build a strong tower.
Building a Strong Tower
Study the blocks. Every good engineer takes time to become familiar with the building materials he will be using before making the plans to build a structure. Building with blocks is the same way. Encourage your child to explore the blocks with you as you check the various characteristics of the blocks. Are they slippery? Are they all the same weight or are some heavier than others? Look at the shapes--which blocks seem particularly suited for tower building and which would best work as decoration blocks on the side?
Sort the blocks. This is another excellent activity to involve your child in. Sort the blocks into various categories to make it easier to find what you need as you build a strong tower. You might sort them by shape, by size or both.
Build a strong base. Seek out the largest, heaviest and flattest blocks to make a base for the tower. Experiment with different configurations as you make the base. Arrange various shapes next to one another and rearrange until you have a rectangular base.
Begin adding the height to the tower. Seek the next smallest size blocks in comparison to those used in the base. Start in the center of the structure and work outward to ensure that the tower has a stable midsection. This will cut down on the wobbling of the tower as it gets taller. Let your child carefully add blocks with you and don't worry if you have to start over because the tower tumbles. That just means your child gets even more practice in learning to build a strong tower with you!
Continue adding blocks one layer at a time from the center outward, selecting the next smallest size block for each new layer. Avoid using awkwardly shaped blocks if possible. Stop building when the tower becomes too tall to maintain its status as a strong tower. If you notice the tower beginning to sway remove a layer or two to keep it stable.