Building Blocks for a Healthy Future
Building Blocks for a Healthy Future ("Building Blocks") is an initiative to promote the healthy development of young children by supporting positive adult-child relationships. Grounded in research and proven practices, it provides information on developmentally appropriate learning strategies, materials and activities for parents, caregivers and educators of children ages 3-6 years old. When young children engage in these activities it helps them develop the social, emotional and behavioral skills they need to be healthy and successful, and decreases the likelihood of later involvement in risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol use.
Building Blocks was developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Six Protective Steps
Based on research, SAMHSA has identified six protective steps that adults can take to reduce a child’s risk of later drug use. These steps are the foundation for all Building Blocks materials and other resources. Caring adults who apply these steps with children will be helping to raise adults who are mentally healthy and drug-free.
For more information and tips on making these steps a part of a child’s daily life, read the Building Blocks Family Guide (PDF | 1.3 MB) and Activity Book (PDF | 2.1 MB).