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Blocks for Kids

December 11, 2012

As educational toys, blocks for kids are essential. Research has indicated that they help children develop fine motor skills, creativity, problem solving and language skills. We love blocks because they have so many uses and last for years. When I got my son his first set, he could barely stack one on top of the other. He would watch me do it and knock it over– while I narrated the entire proceeding, of course. He gradually learned to stack them himself and took immense pleasure in toppling his creations. Now, he often involves other toys like small plastic animals or cars in his block play. He loves to build barns and staircases these days. But I’m sure his construction will become more and more intricate with time– along with the imaginative play that goes along with it.

At Sweetbottoms, we carry several options for block play.

1. Skip Hop Alphabet Zoo ABC House Blocks This set of 14 solid wood blocks displays all the letters of the alphabet along with a few animals. There are traditional cubes and some that look like houses. I know my son would love to put little things into those niches. There’s lots of material for language development with these blocks. Parents can talk about letters, animals and patterns while they play with their children.

2. Sunny Sprout Building Blocks These 1.5 inch cubes are the traditional, simple must-have for any block collection. The set of 12 is made from American-grown birch wood and sealed with organic olive oil and local beeswax. I would feel comfortable giving them to a very small child who is just learning to grasp and stack. They are beautiful blocks to own and would complement any other sets as well. (See more photos below.)

3. Hape Toys Fantasia Blocks Castle This set of 22 whimsical blocks includes pillars, arches, domes and other architectural pieces. This set would be ideal for the older preschooler who could really let his or her imagination run wild. This is one of three Hape block sets. (See #5 and #6 below) All of their toys are ethically and sustainably produced and painted with vivid water-based paint.

4. Rubbablox Building Blox Made from 100% natural rubber, this set of four blocks is perfect for younger children. There are disks that fit into any hole on the cube and allow the child to connect two blocks together. A great perk to these is that they don’t hurt when thrown–for those little darlings who are in a “throwing phase”!

5. Hape Toys Fantasia Blocks Train This wooden train comes with a set of 14 uniquely shaped blocks that can be threaded on to the spindles or simply played with on their own. My son was a little over a year before he really got the hang of these stacker pegs. He would sit with so much concentration to get each one on! He had a train similar to this one and still mixes the blocks in with his other sets.

6. Hape Toys Mini Block & Roll This would make a precious first set of blocks for any child. It has all the classic shapes and colors and is the perfect size for little hands. Babies at this age also adore putting things into and taking things out of containers. (I used to call my son my little organizer!) The rolling tray is perfect for this activity and makes a great pull toy when they are ready to move.

Are you planning on getting blocks for your little builder? What do they like to build?



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