Building blocks vs. board games
New research has found that structured block-building games improve spatial abilities in children to a greater degree than board games.
The study, which appears in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, measured the relative impact of two games -- a structured block-building game and a word-spelling board game -- on children’s spatial processing. Such processing includes mental rotation, which involves visualizing what an object will look like after it is rotated.
The research lends new support to the idea that such block games might help children develop spatial skills needed in science- and math-oriented disciplines.
It is also the first study to use neuroimaging to explore the effects of block building on brain activity, said PBS professor Sharlene Newman, who led the research.