# Lakeshore Hardwood Unit Blocks, Starter Set

**(****Lakeshore ****$299)**

These are the kind of quality wooden unit blocks that you'll find in a good nursery school. The hardwood is smooth and splinter free and the Starter Set with 108 pieces in 14 shapes offer children years of playful learning. Unit blocks are scaled to each other, so, for example, two squares will equal a rectangle, two triangles will equal a square or rectangle. (A little built-in math that they gain as they learn about symmetry and the need for adding one more and one less.) Ideally, a set should have enough blocks and shapes that kids can create a variety of structures and this one does exactly that. Although a set of hardwood blocks can be pricey, it's an investment that provides years of play value as children’s construction become ever more complex. Your young three-year old will start by building horizontally, long “trains” of block roadways. Before long they’ll be making enclosures and eventually vertical structures. Bridges, farms, forts, skyscrapers, whole cities laced with train tracks and more. For future birthdays and holiday, add more shapes and props. Unlike the licensed toys that go out of date every season, these have no season. Think of this set as an heirloom toy - for your children and maybe your grandchildren.

For less costly blocks consider a set of Lakeshore Soft Unit Blocks ($139) Foam blocks are a less pricey alternative to hardwood blocks. With this set you get the same number of pieces (108) and shapes (14) as the hardwood set and it’s less than half the price. These are made of dense foam and come in assorted colors. They also have an added plus of being a lot quieter than wooden blocks. Some purists will find the colors distracting, although it’s doubtful that children will be bothered.

Ages: Preschoolers, Younger Early School

**Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2018**