Toys That Help Children Develop Spatial Skills, Creativity, and Social Skills

Spatial Skills, Creativity, and SocialAn article published by the Association of Psychological Science in January 2015 found that children who play frequently with puzzles, construction, and board games tend to have better spatial reasoning ability.  They studied the play behavior of 847 children ages 4–7 from a nation-wide sample covering all socioeconomic groups, and used scores from a psychological test of cognitive functions.  Past studies have also found similar benefit for older children and teens.

Spatial ability is the capacity to understand and remember the spatial relations among objects.  Visual-spatial skills are of great importance for success in solving many tasks in every day life.  For example, you use your visual-spatial skills when using a map to guide you through an unfamiliar city, merging into high-speed traffic, and orienting yourself in your environment.Visual-Spatial Skills 450

Spatial ability is also important for success in many fields of study.  Mathematics, natural sciences, engineering, economic forecasting, meteorology, and architecture all involve the use of spatial skills.

Construction toys like building blocks, Legos, and models.
Construction-toy play is beneficial for building social skills and building trust in others because it acts as a collaborative task where individuals have to cooperate in order to finish the task at hand

Board games.
Board games teach planning, taking turns, handling winning and losing, problem solving, and other spatial skills.  When played as a family, board games facilitate bonding and improve communication.  Parents can use board games as an opportunity to teach social skills and frustration tolerance.

Select toys that are appropriate for your child, and look for ones with a fairly wide age-range so that your child will be able to enjoy them for a long period of time.  Spend time building things and solving puzzles together with your child as well as encourage them to create on their own.

We love these toys, all available on Amazon:

1. Construction, Building Sets, & Blocks

2. Puzzles

3. Board Games


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  • Andrew Roberts

    These are good game for kids brain development. By playing this game, kids can improve their concentration and focus only on the goal. Board games teach them how to plan the things, solving problems. .

  • Whirled Peas

    Dr. Maria Montessori created entire classrooms of such games (called materialized abstractions – concepts are inherent in the activity) that are a precise match for children’s neurological and physiological needs at each stage of their development.

  • Trisha Roberts

    I couldn’t agree more! Children are becoming addicted to video games and tablet use at earlier and earlier ages. So many children don’t develop the social skills and life skills they need because they rarely interact face-to-face. Playing board games together as a family or with friends helps develop the skills mentioned in your article. Playing active, outdoor games is vitally important also, as they lead to the development of coordination, strength, and control for a healthy body as well as learning to work on a team, cooperate with others, take turns, etc. Trisha at and