During the early childhood years, we often hear of the importance of play based learning. Somewhere around first grade or so, that train of thought seems to get lost in the pages of textbooks and tests. It's sad really. As I sit here and consider that reality, I'm thinking that the older a person gets, the more important it is to have some area of play. Who doesn't appreciate the delight that comes from engaging in some form of creative expression? If that creative outlet can also be educational, all the better! As it relates to homeschooling, it's fantastic to find a product or resource that spans a range of ages, and Brain Blox does that with their Brain Blox Wooden Planks set, which they graciously provided us to use and review.
There are several different sized sets available. We received the 200 wooden plank set. These are very nice planks. They come from premium New Zealand Pine, are chemical free, and made with renewable resources. A drawstring backpack comes with the set, and will come in handy for storage. That sure beats trying to get all of these wooden pieces to fit back into the box neatly when you're on the go!
What can you do with these blocks? They're just for preschoolers, right? Well, no. These are great for, as the box suggests, ages 4 to 104 years old. Your imagination is the only limit here. You can use these for STEM projects, Math, Physics, and Engineering. Or...use them during down periods, and see what your kids can come up with on their own. This is truly a product that the entire family will enjoy using. Toddlers can stack them up and knock them over. Preschoolers and slightly older grades can construct train tracks, buildings, and more. Teens will get even more intricate in their designs. Whatever the age, these are just fun and engaging.
Have you walked down the toy aisle in any given store recently? It seems like the majority of children's entertainment options are electronic in some way. They allow for passive play. As kids get older, many have smart phones, which again, provide a passive form of distraction. We need more options like Brain Blox Building Planks. Creativity will be sparked as kids engage in conversations, practice problem solving, and use their imagination. It should also be mentioned that these will exercise large and fine motor skills. The benefits go on and on! Let's get our families back to some old fashioned recreation!
My 14 year old has been the primary user of these entertaining blocks. She enjoys fiddling around with various building activities, and she has enjoyed putting together some projects with these. We've had enough school related assignments this Fall, so we kept this as a way to decompress and just relax. She likes to put something together as she's hanging out with my oldest daughter, or while we all relax on a cloudy day. These are simple, but versatile. Does that sound corny? Maybe, but it's still true. There's always something flashy being advertised for kids of all ages, but this is an option that will stand the test of time. With so many possibilities for use, it's a great resource that every family can use.
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