Intro: Build a Buddy (Early Childhood Toy)
Who likes to play with blocks? We all do! I'm sure we can all recall playing with blocks of some sort as a child. In any early childhood setting blocks are used for educational purposes. Many skills that a child learns can come from playing with blocks. Children can learn the following through playing with blocks: problem solving, creativity, imagination, self-expression, and mathematical skills. Block building also builds self-esteem, social and language skills, and promotes intellectual growth.
Problem solving and mathematical skills are used together in building and stacking with blocks. Children can add by putting blocks together. They use problem solving skills to create a "buddy" and to prevent the blocks from falling over. When building successfully they create something they can feel proud of, building a higher self-esteem. They are able to take blocks and transform them into something new. Kids have a big imagination and creativity. They are young and can think of many different options. They can build what they think, even if it is unrealistic, or make something they want to be real.
Toddlers seem to get frustrated and sometimes have emotional breakdowns. Blocks are a big part in helping with that emotional release in a positive way. They learn how to share and develop friendships through block play. Children need to start off with good skills for language and understandance. Children can talk and discuss with friend as they are building.
Learning diversity is important and building with these "Build -a -Buddy" blocks allows them to create diverse characters. These building blocks can allow them to make new characters. Children can see that our "buddies" come for all different ethnic backgrounds. Building blocks make kids build humans or towers or anything in their imagination. Building blocks are a big part of a child's childhood. They help them feel accomplished and learn new skills.
Parents and caregivers spend lots of money on toys and these blocks can be made in little time and be very inexpensive. Only a few materials are needed and at little cost. The process of making the blocks is little but the learning can last a lifetime. So start making your build-a-buddy toy and make a buddy in the process.
Step 1: Gather Materials Needed:
solid wood blocks 2"X2"
full body images of male and female of different ethnicities
cellphone or camera
Step 2: Cut Blocks With a Miter Saw.
Using a miter saw cut solid wood blocks. We cut our 2" x 2".
You may cut different sizes if you want different sized blocks.
Tip: Make sure the length and the width is the same size.
You will need to cut three blocks total.
Step 3: Sand the Blocks.
Then using sand paper smooth all edges of all three blocks to prevent splinters and to make nice smooth edges.
Step 4: Find and Print Images of Your Buddy.
We used google pictures.
The pictures were from these websites:
Print out copies of all six images of your buddies in color.
Tip: You can also use pictures you take at home and use pictures of familiar faces to the individual child.
Step 5: Cut the Images 2" X 2" to Match the Length and Width of the Blocks.
Using a ruler and the blocks cut the pictures 2" X 2" to match the length and width of the blocks. Make sure the head body and legs match up with each other. Trim the paper so they fit right on the blocks. The edges of the blocks match up with the edges of the paper images.
Step 6: Glue on the Pieces of Paper With the Images
Glue the six heads, one on each side to one block.
Glue the six body images to another block.
Glue the legs and feet of the last six images to the last and final third block.
Step 7: Cover All Sides of the Blocks Over the Entire Images With Mod Podge.
Use a paint brush and apply a light coating of Mod Podge over each of the six sides of all three blocks. Let the first five sides dry first and lay the sixth side face down. Allow to dry then do the last side of each block. Allow to dry.
Step 8: Stack Your Blocks, Build Your Buddy, Play and Enjoy!
Once the mod podge is applied the blocks are sealed and protected and are ready for play. So kids create and enjoy. Add your blocks to your personal create zone. Build a buddy whenever you'd like and make a buddy in the process. Have fun!