Blocks are a classic for a reason. They help your baby develop gross and fine motor skills and learn about balance, cause and effect, gravity, and geometry.
Yet at this age, child development professionals recommend only giving your baby 3 to 4 blocks to play with at a time, to prevent him from being overwhelmed and losing interest. Your baby will enjoy that big block set when he is older.
Picking up the block:
At first, your baby will work on picking up a block without his palm touching it-placing his thumb on one side and fingers on the other. This typically happens sometime between 7 and 9 months. The grip looks like this:
Banging blocks together:
Between 8.5 and 12 months, your baby will start to use both of his hands to bang the blocks together. You can help him get there by putting your hands over your baby’s while he holds the blocks. Bang the blocks together hand-over-hand, then see if he imitates you on his own. Try banging in a rhythm; eventually he will copy you.
Putting blocks in containers:
Your baby will love to put blocks into a container starting around 10 to 11 months. Before he learns to put the blocks in, though, he will want to dump them out, so you can put them in for him at first.
Even though he probably can’t build a tower himself yet, he will love to knock down a small one you build for him.
Stacking 2 blocks without balancing:
By around 11 to 12 months, your baby will be able to put one block on top of the other without necessarily balancing them. See if your baby is ready to try this himself by showing him how you put one block on top of the other.
Try to resist the temptation to “fix” your baby’s stack of blocks, so he can learn which positions support the blocks and which will not.
Stacking and balancing two or more blocks:
Around 12 to 16 months, your baby will likely start building a tower with two blocks. When he is between 16 and 18 months, he may start building a tower with 3 blocks, and between 18 and 22 months, he will be likely be ready for 4-block towers.