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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007 Oct;161(10):967-71.

Effect of block play on language acquisition and attention in toddlers: a pilot randomized controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, and Child Health Institute, University of Washington, 6200 NE 74th St, Ste 210, Seattle, WA 98115-8160, USA. dachris@u.washington.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To test the hypotheses that block play improves language acquisition and attention.

DESIGN:

Randomized controlled trial.

SETTING:

Pediatric clinic.

PARTICIPANTS:

Children aged 1(1/2) to 2(1/2) years.

INTERVENTION:

Distribution of 2 sets of building blocks.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Scores on the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories, television viewing based on diary data, and the hyperactivity domain of the Child Behavior Checklist.

RESULTS:

Of 220 families approached in the clinic waiting room, 175 (80%) agreed to participate in the study. At least 1 diary was returned from 92 of the 175 families (53%). A total of 140 families (80%) completed exit interviews. Of the children in the intervention group, 52 (59%) had block play reported in their diaries compared with 11 (13%) in the control group (P<.01). The linear regression results for language acquisition were as follows: entire sample--raw score, 7.52 (P=.07); percentile, 8.4 (P=.15); low-income sample--raw score, 12.40 (P=.01); percentile, 14.94 (P=.03). For attention the results were as follows: entire sample--odds ratio, 0.49 (P=.29); low-income sample--odds ratio, 0.48 (P=.26) There were no statistically significant differences with respect to hyperactivity scores.

CONCLUSIONS:

Distribution of blocks can lead to improved language development in middle- and low-income children. Further research is warranted.

PMID:
17909140
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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