candle making - the basics to advanced techniques

About Me

candle making - the basics to advanced techniques

What do you do in your free time? Do you sit in your recliner watching reruns of shows from the 80's munching on microwave popcorn? This was exactly how I spent my free time for many years. About a year ago, I went to a craft fair and found some of the most uniquely beautiful candles that I have seen in my life. When I went home, I started looking up how to make those candles and that was when I changed what I do with my free time. This blog is all about making candles. You will learn everything from the basics to the most advanced candle making techniques to try.

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Foam Blocks For Kids And Play-Based Learning

How can foam blocks for kids help your young child to learn and develop new skills? What adults may think of as "child's play" can help preschoolers build new abilities across the developmental domains (cognitive, emotional, social, and physical). Whether you just bought big foam blocks or are ready to invest in a set, take a look at what you need to know about play-based learning. 

Why Should Children Learn Through Play?

Even though lectures and labs helped you to learn during high school or college, these methods aren't the best approaches for young children. Your preschool-aged child doesn't have the attention span to sit through an hour-long monologue about math and won't develop essential critical thinking skills via rote memorization types of tasks.

Hands-on, play-based activities make it possible for your young child to learn by doing. Instead of someone telling them facts, they will get the chance to explore and experiment in ways that are meaningful to them. This allows them to engage in their education and develop creativity, language skills, problem-solving abilities, physical/motor skills, and more. 

Are All Play-Based Learning Activities the Same?

There isn't one type of play-based activity for preschoolers—or even one category of activities. Some of these activities include free play, while others are guided by an adult. Free play allows a child to explore on their own, with little to no adult influence. 

Guided play can have more structure than free play. Instead of a child-led type of play, these activities are child-centered. The adult creates the play scenario, provides materials (such as foam blocks), and may use open-ended questions to guide the learning process. According to a 2022 study published in the journal Child Development, this type of play had a greater impact on math skill development and task-switching behaviors than direct adult instruction. It also had more spatial learning benefits than free play.

How Can Your Child Use Foam Blocks?

Foam blocks can help your child to learn through play in many different ways. If you're not sure how to use blocks as learning tools, start with these tips:

  • Let your preschooler explore. Place the blocks in a safe space and encourage your child to use their imagination, explore, and experiment with the foam.

  • Build structures. Invite your child to build their own castle, skyscraper, or anything else. A building activity can help your preschooler to develop spatial reasoning, critical thinking, and math skills.

  • Engage in dramatic play. Foam blocks can double as cars, trains, horses, or anything else your child can imagine. Pretend-play with blocks can build creativity, problem-solving skills, and more.

Foam blocks for kids can also help your child to develop fine and gross motor skills. Encourage your child to pick up, carry, or move the blocks in creative ways. These activities promote hand and finger skills (such as dexterity) and can help to build balance and strength.