Before I was a mom, I was a schoolteacher for fifteen years. Observing children at play has been part of my life for a long time. Sadly, observing children who don’t know how to play has also been a part of my life. I have seen first hand the difference between kids who can play and kids who can’t. I cannot stress enough: Play is important! Therefore with my own child, I try to find toys that promote play. The NEW Itty Bitty City Magnetic Blocks are the perfect toy to meet this desire.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Itty Bitty City. All opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Play, especially in the early years, is crucial to brain development and helps children to learn skills like independence, confidence and creativity. The list that describes what play is, is quite long. I can tell you that play in NOT watching TV, and it is NOT manipulating an iPad, smartphone or another similar device. I can also tell you that toys that light up, make noise and talk without requiring the child to do anything other than move it or press a button while entertaining to a child, are not in line with the fundamentals of play and don’t actively promote play.
In my opinion, outdoor play is the absolute best type of play and when the weather cooperates my child spends a minimum of 3-4 hours outdoors every day. My child is still napping every afternoon, so when you also consider meal times, that is half of his total awake time each day. Unfortunately, rain and other factors (like limited daylight or the horrible mosquitoes and tussock moth caterpillars that have taken over our yard) can limit outdoor play time. It’s times like these that we look for really great indoor toys.
We have a VTech train which my son enjoys but again, this type of toy doesn’t actually promote play. It’s advertised as a learning toy, but I also have my doubts about that. My son is highly interested in it for a short period of time, but interest waned quickly.
G’s favorite toys are ones that don’t “do” anything. Cars, trains, a few superhero dolls, some stackers and blocks. In all honesty, his favorite toys are a few old measuring cups, an old milk jug, a pile of sand and some rocks. When using these types of toys he has to manipulate them to do things so skills like imagination and creativity are being utilized and improved. These toys are great for both independent play and cooperative play which means mom and dad don’t always have to play with him but can.
Blocks have always been a favorite toy. We once received a set of Melissa and Doug blocks that G enjoys stacking and sorting. Since he is still fairly young, there is often frustration when the blocks fall over and don’t fit together like he expects them to.
Recently, we discovered the Itty Bitty City Magnetic Blocks.
The magnetic blocks are constructed of painted wood but have a magnet inside them, so they gently stick to all of the other blocks. When G began to stack the magnetic blocks, they stayed where he wanted them even if they weren’t lined up just so. You can see the joy on his face.
We got both the 30-piece standard block set and the six-piece Cat/Dog set. Both sets have pieces with eye shapes on them, and he really enjoyed that. G played with these magnetic blocks for a really long time. Even after several days he continues to go back to them and builds towers, random shapes or lines several up and pretends they are a train.
According to Itty Bitty City, these magnetic blocks are perfect for toddlers and promote STEM / STEAM Play. The message on the package says
Itty Bitty learners (Toddlers) develop socially, physically, intellectually, and creatively by playing with blocks. The magnets in our Magnetic Wooden Blocks enable young minds to think outside the box by adding a new level of creativity and exploration. The magnets are secured within the wood so they will not become dislodged, even during spirited group play sessions! Our blocks are strong enough to hold the most creative designs, but they won’t pinch your Itty Bitty’s fingers.
I LOVE the ‘spirited play’ part. Basically, your child is a toddler, and they are going to throw these blocks at some point. You don’t have to worry about the magnets coming out! And the magnets are strong enough to hold the blocks together but not strong enough that they are going to pinch fingers or be difficult to play with.
Here are a few more benefits:
- MONTESSORI TOY FOR TODDLERS: A Montessori toy is typically made from a natural material that can be held, touched and manipulated by a child ‘s experimentation. Magnetic Wooden Blocks are made from natural wood, contains no plastic and are painted with lead-free nontoxic paint.
- STEM / STEAM CONSTRUCTION BUILDING TOY: STEAM toys encourage children to develop skills in the core disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics. Magnetic Wooden Blocks are an open-ended educational building toy that promotes critical thinking, problem solving and logic at an early age.
- NO WASTE PACKAGING: Most toys come in packaging that makes it look bigger than it actually is. Our Itty Bitty Toys come in “No Waste Packaging.” Meaning it comes in a box that does not contain filler or plastic that makes the toy appear to be bigger. This is just another one of our efforts of “Doing Good” by creating less waste.
So the verdict is in! We LOVE the Itty Bitty City Magnetic Blocks. They are fun, promote imagination and creativity and are really well constructed. I would highly recommend these to anyone with a toddler or preschooler in their lives. Moms and dads, grandparents, aunt and uncles — you need to get some of these blocks. I know these are going to be a favorite of G’s for years to come.
If you are interested in purchasing some of these magnetic blocks you may get them here:
Did you also know that Itty Bitty City is a creative play center located in Springfield, Missouri? It’s designed for kids 8 and under. For those of you visiting Bass Pro or the Wonders of Wildlife Nature Museum and Aquarium, Itty Bitty City is just down the road. Stop by and say hello.