Don't take our word for it. Countless studies have revealed the positive short- and long-term effects of block play. Click on the title of each article to view as a PDF in a new window.
"The article discusses the use of blocks by children educator Carol Stephenson in her prekindergarten classroom to highlight the effectiveness of block play to teach such skills as spatial reasoning and social skills. It cites the major elements of the program, namely, the materials used, allotted time, and the use of space. Also cited are the efforts by the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) on block play."
"Play and informal learning activities can promote foundational skills and knowledge in young children. Playing with blocks, a popular activity found in most preschool and kindergarten classrooms, can contribute to children's early mathematical development, such as spatial reasoning, knowledge of geometric shapes, numerical knowledge, and problem-solving skills (Kamii, Miyakawa, & Kato, 2004; Ness & Farenga, 2007; Reifel & Greenfield, 1982; Seo & Ginsburg, 2004; Wellhousen & Kieff, 2001). Block play can also contribute to children's language and literacy skills (Cohen & Uhry, 2007; Stroud, 1995). The benefits of playing with blocks seem to have long-term implications. Children's block play during the preschool years has been associated with concurrent spatial skills, as well as later math achievement (Caldera et al., 1999; Stannard, Wolfgang, Jones, & Phelps, 2001; Wolfgang, Stannard, & Jones, 2001)."
"Experiences with spatial toys such as blocks, puzzles, and shape games, and the spatial words and gestures they evoke from adults, have a significant influence on the early development of spatial skills. Spatial skills are important for success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields  (e.g., Wai, Lubinski, Benbow and Steiger, 2010), and are related to early mathematics performance  (Mix and Cheng, 2012), as early as age 3  (Verdine, Golinkoff et al., in press). This paper focuses on the effects of early spatial experiences and their impacts on school readiness, discusses factors that influence the amount and quality of spatial play, and suggests methods for providing a “spatial education” prior to school entry."
"Spatial skills involve an individual's capacity to mentally compare, manipulate, and transform visual, nonlinguistic information. Empirical evidence does support a connection between amount of early block play experiences and the development of spatial skills in young children (Serbin and Connor, 1979 and Sprafkin et al., 1983). Further, it's been found that block-building competency on a structured task also predicts for spatial skills (Caldera et al., 1999), and that structured block building interventions improves spatial skills in young children (Casey et al., 2008). Several studies have also examined older students in elementary school, and have demonstrated a relationship between success at block reproduction tasks and spatial skills at this age as well (Brosnan, 1998 and Jahoda, 1979). Collectively, these studies suggest a link between block-building activities and the development of spatial competency in children (Kersh et al., 2008)."
"The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics stateinfants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day (AAP 2001/13, CPS 2010). Children and youth use 4-5 times the recommended amount of technology, with serious and often life threatening consequences (Kaiser Foundation 2010, Active Healthy Kids Canada 2012)."
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