Thursday, August 21, 2008

Developmental Post #20

The developmental post for this week is focused on helping your preemie stack blocks. Stacking blocks can be a fun but difficult skill for preemies to learn. My daughter has currently figured out that blocks can go on top of each other but she hasn't quite mastered getting them to stay.

Here are some ways to get your preemie to start stacking blocks:

1) Make blocks readily available - Make blocks a part of the toy options that you provide to your preemie. If you don't have any yet, I did a post about my three favorite type of blocks here. To help encourage stacking, I prefer to use either of these blocks: The Alphabet Peek A Boo Blocks from Fisher Price and Parents Counting Pal Soft Blocks. The soft blocks are big but easy to stack and squeezable. The Fisher Price blocks are a good size for little hands to hold on to however they are slippery.

2) Encourage simple playing with the blocks - my daughter loves to bang things together and blocks are a favorite banging toy. By playing with blocks on his/her own, your preemie will become comfortable with them.

3) Learn by example - Stack blocks with your preemie. Let him/her knock the blocks over. Stack them back up again.

Once your preemie starts getting the concept of stacking, he/she may need a little help. Our developmental therapist just gave me a great tip to help master stacking: add velcro to the blocks. With the velcro, the block will easily stay without requiring a perfect stacking job. You can use sticky velcro or glue some on. Remember to put velcro on the top and bottom of the block - use opposite parts of the velcro for easier sticking to other blocks.

Happy Stacking!

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