Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Construction Toys
Subcategories: Open Ended: Blocks: Wooden Blocks

 


2014 Award
Keva Colors , 120 Piece Set
(Mindware $39.99 Score:)

Non-stop open-ended building just got brighter with these brightly colored wooden planks made of precision cut pine. Kids can use the color guide to see multiple ways to stack these basic planks into horizontal as well as vertical constructions. Or, they can use their own imagination to build soaring towers and unique structures. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2014.

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2013 Award
Wondeworld Wonder Trix Track Spin and Swirl
(Wonderworld $59.99 Score:)

Like other Trix Track sets, this is a cleverly designed wooden ball run for younger builders. Chunky pieces and blocks make it more stabile than most and it comes with interesting steps, runs, and spinner that send the balls racing over the track. There is no absolute right or wrong way to put this together and this set can be used in combination with other Trix Track sets. Our test family really loved this set. Marked for 3 & up, we'd say three will have more luck playing with this than building it; but that is one way to start. Have your child find the pieces and help connect them as you model how it's done.

 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Wonderworld Wonder Trix Track 2 Way Flipper
(Wonderworld $59.99 Score:)

A cleverly designed wooden ball run for younger builders. Chunky pieces and blocks make it more stabile than most and it comes with interesting steps, runs, and a 2 way flipper that will send balls to the left or right. There is no absolute right or wrong way to put this together and this set can be used in combination with other Trix Track sets. Our test family was really delighted with this set. Marked for 3 & up, we'd say three will have more luck playing with this than building it; but that is one way to start. Have your child find the pieces and help connect them as you model how it's done.

 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Janod Kubix with Letters and Numbers
(Janod $28.99 Score:)

A colorful set of solid wood blocks with letters and numbers imprinted on them. They are marked 18 months and up. We suspect kids that young will like filling and dumping them and eventually lining them up. Building upwards will be something adults or older sibs can do for little ones. They will like knocking them down. This is definitely a toy that will get lots of mileage. Learning letter names and the sounds they say comes much later. 18 months and up, up,up.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012.

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2010 Award
Citiblocs Cool Colors Building Blocks
(Citiblocs $24.99 Score:)

We fell in love with these open-ended building blocks last year.   They look alot like the pricier original French, Kapla blocks. Compatible with the originals, they are all the same size pieces of natural wood.  The open-endedness of these blocks truly challenges the builder's imagination and dexterity. The smooth and precision cut blocks are made of Radiata Pine from certified renewable forests in New Zealand and come packaged with suggested projects kids can build without glue or pegs.  What's new this season- sets of Hot (pinks/reds) and Cool (blue/green) colors. These make interesting patterns and may hold added appeal to younger builders.  (These sets got lukewarm reviews from threes--but older 4s and 5s totally got into them - so if you get a set and your child doesn't seem enthralled, pull them back out when they're a little older.) They come in different sets: 100 piece set costs $24.99, 50 pieces for $12.95.   The packages say 3 & up, we think older builders of 5 & up will find them more interesting.  The activities suggested will challenge even older kids.  Our recommendation--put them on the coffee table and see what everyone, young and old, comes up with.  We found them addictive.
The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Awards
Unit Blocks
(Constructive Playthings $186.95 Score:) Set of 85 pieces in 15 shapes

Age: Toddlers,Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: .

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Award
Wooden Alphabet & Math Blocks with Braille
( $30 Score:) SNAP INFO: These Uncle Goose wooden blocks look like classic alphabet blocks, but with one wonderful difference! Two faces of each cube have a letter impression and raised Braille cell for that letter. Also top rated, a Braille math set ($17) includes zero through 9, and plus and minus signs. (888) 774-2046.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: .

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2008 Awards
Super Structs Fairy Garden
(Waba Fun $39.95 Score:) This is a lot like your old Tinkertoys, only this set is color coded to appeal to girls. We generally shy away from such gender-specific toys, but getting girls to build is more important than being politically correct. Keep in mind that it is generally believed that boys do better in math later in life, because they are more apt to get building toys early on and develop their spatial reasoning skills through such playful experimenting. This set comes with fairy wings for figures and pink flowers to add flourishes to structures. The pieces are good sized for small hands and open-ended invitations to create their own settings and small dramas. For less gender specific version see the companies Big Builder set. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. SNAP: This is a good choice for fine motor development. You may need to anchor the round pieces in play dough so that they hold still and allow children to fit the rods into the pegs. That said, there are opportunities built into playing with these playing pieces. A fun way to talk about color and length comparisons...long, loner, longest...two holes, three and six hole bases. Using these words in concrete ways with real objects gives meaning to numbs, size and color concepts.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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