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).

families

Interactive Activities

Find a fun activity to share quality time with your child.

View
family guide

Family Guide

Learn practical ways to implement the six protective steps of the Building Blocks initiative.

View
character cards

Character Cards

Introduce children to the Building Blocks Characters with these cards detailing each character’s dreams, fears, and favorite activities.

View
protective steps

Six Protective Steps

Adults can take six protective steps to help children build a healthy foundation for life.

View
spanish materials

Spanish Materials

Browse Building Blocks materials for your classroom in Spanish.

View
activity book

Activity Book

Find activity ideas for students that include opportunities to try new skills, learn how to make good decisions, and explore their emotions.

View
play day in park

Play Day in the Park

Use this rhyming book to encourage students to play outside and exercise.

View
protective steps

Six Protective Steps

Adults can take six protective steps to help children build a healthy foundation for life.

View
spanish materials

Spanish Materials

Browse Building Blocks materials in Spanish.

View
activity book

Activity Book

Find activity ideas for children that include opportunities to try new skills, learn how to make good decisions, and explore their emotions.

View
training

Training

Find a customizable PowerPoint presentation to demonstrate how teachers and parents can benefit from the Building Blocks initiative.

View
protective steps

Six Protective Steps

Adults can take six protective steps to help children build a healthy foundation for life.

View