With four children ranging in age from 19 months to 13 years, it is not often that I find a toy or activity that they can all enjoy. However, Brain Blox has created a toy that worked for them all! We received a set of Brain Blox Wooden Building Planks a few weeks ago to review and they have become a family favorite. When I agreed to review them, I was mostly thinking about my five-year-old son but in the end, everyone enjoyed them.
The Wooden Building Planks are sets of 100, 200, or 300 wooden planks that can be put together in thousands of different ways to create. The planks are all made from 100% all-natural, precision-cut, chemical-free, New Zealand natural pine wood. We received the 200-plank set which also includes a booklet of ideas and a nice red drawstring bag to keep all of the wooden planks together when they are not being used.
I started out by just letting the children play with the planks and decide what they wanted to build. Sometimes they built alone, other times they siblings worked together or had an adult help out. Through this they created a variety of really neat projects. My five-year-old make a pier with a boat launch and a ship. Then together we created a barn where he put his farm animals and tractor. My older son created complex towers and games. The toddler would stack the planks on top of each other and knock them down again.
After they had some time to play around with them, I took some of the ideas from the Brain Blox website and used the planks for a bit of ‘school’ with my five-year-old. There were some ideas for creating letters from the planks and so I had him work on creating his name out of planks. This was far more entertaining to him that simply writing his name and provided good practice at making and recognizing the letters.
In addition to the basic building ideas the website includes puzzles which you use the planks and logic to solve, building suggestions that range from simple to complex, and even a spatial awareness curriculum based around the planks. We look forward to continuing to use these planks in a variety of ways for many years to come. We are even considering purchasing the larger set for Christmas.
As a mom of four children, I have gotten pretty picky about toys with lots of pieces. I hate hunting for missing pieces, stepping on pieces left out, etc. However, the fun, creativity, and engagement created by this set made the pieces totally worth it. The nice drawstring bag also makes it fairly easy to keep the pieces together. I highly encourage you to visit Brain Blox for more information and then click on the graphic below and check out the experiences of the other Crew members. You can also purchase the set from Amazon. Also check out my review of another Brain Blox product, Family Fun Chess, from earlier this week.
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