The Benefits of Block Play

It’s official. Our Christmas shopping has begun. Chances are yours has as well – at least your online gift buying. It seems this time of year gets earlier year-by-year. Much of that probably has to do with the fact that few of us budget for the holiday season, so we buy over the span of 3 months… instead of the 2 weeks prior to Christmas.

All of that said, we wanted to reach out to you with gift buying tips for some of our smallest customers – babies and toddlers. They’re rolling over, crawling, walking, and they’re in to EVERYTHING. We know. We’ve been there.

What many people don’t know is that many infant and toddler behaviors are imperative to teach gross and fine motor skills. We’ve done plenty of research on block play and the importance it plays in early development of our children. It can help with everything from shape identification to team building (for those larger block projects).

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The National Association for the Education of Young Children states that block play is important from infancy all the way through primary grades. Some of the areas in which block play can help:

  • Problem Solving
  • Mathematics
  • Self Expression
  • Imagination
  • Creativity
  • Social and emotional growth

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According to Hands On As We Grow, block play can also significantly help with fine motor skills. Be sure to check out their website for fun activities including blocks.

One of the benefits of our blocks beyond the benefits previously mentioned is that they can be used as learning tools. Our ABC Block set hosts letters, numbers and illustrated words. You can imagine that these can come in handy all the way through primary grades.

Likewise, our Barnyard Blocks are perfect for the little one learning animal names and sounds. Our Barnyard Blocks even take it a step further and spell out the animal names. Nothing like raising an early reader/speller!

Remember that our block sets and baby blocks are made from all natural products. The edges of the corners have been rounded off so no sharp edges. All block sets are finished with beeswax instead of stain or clear coat. We all know where new toys go for the little ones – right in the mouth. Might as well give them something that isn’t laden with chemicals, right? Our Barnyard Blocks come 9 to the set and our ABC Block Set comes with 30 total blocks.

We know buying for small children can be tough, but these blocks will provide them with hours of enjoyment – and learning!

Until next time, Keep It Craft E!

A Craft-E-Family Fall

Fall is here, there’s no hiding it at this point. Temperatures have just a little bit of a bite to them. The morning routines involve decision making between long sleeves or sweaters. The changes in the leaves are subtle this early on in the month of October, but they’re there nonetheless.

As business owners of a specialty store, this time of year is when business starts to really pick up. We still have a little time before the holiday rush hits, so we take advantage of this weather and our time together before business really explodes in the next 2 months.

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Autumn is a time to be celebrated at CEF. Our family loves walking the property together to photograph the changes taking place in nature. We love looking back on fond memories and we REALLY love the shift to autumn foods. We enjoy making them almost as much as we enjoy eating them.

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Other than taking walks around our property, we love to take annual trips to Greendell to participate in their hayride, corn maze and of course we pick our own pumpkins. Bonfires help to keep us warm as we soak up the last few weeks of tolerable weather, but they also serve as a way for us to toast up our homemade… yes, homemade (and quite delicious) marshmallows that make a perfect s’more. If you’re not up to making your own mallows, head over to 240 Sweets to buy some of theirs. They’re really good too!

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Some of the other treats we look forward to this season are homemade chicken pot pies, pot roast, and Williams-Sonoma hot chocolate with homemade whipped cream. Their hot chocolate is now available on their website. We’ve already ordered our years supply! Peppermint bark and salted caramel are family favorites, but LeeLoo’s favorite is salted caramel.

leeloo-dressed-up-for-halloween-little-girlHalloween has been a bit of an evolution in our family. LeeLoo is maturing into a beautiful young lady and as she matures into her teen years – her taste is maturing as well. What used to be a little girl that loved to dress up for Halloween – mostly as a cat – is now a teenager that doesn’t dress up and loves Godiva chocolates. Now we just think back fondly of the times she’d head out to trick-or-treat in our very rural area. She’d receive bags and bags of candy from neighbors since they didn’t get many little ones ringing their doorbell. It’s one of the many joys of country living.

 From our family to yours, Happy Autumn! We hope you create some masterpieces when trying these recipes out, but more importantly, we hope you create some memories at the same time. Until next time – Keep It Craft E!