Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Can building blocks be educational?

I was contacted awhile back by Scott, from Smart Blocks, Inc. about reviewing a new educational toy.  Since I am planning to homeschool Sydney, I thought this would be a great start to helping her learn in a fun environment. 

About Smarcks Smart Blocks
Smarcks Smart Blocks is a set of building blocks, much like the Lego Duplo blocks in size and shape, but completely different!  These blocks combine your child's love of building with learning things such as colors, counting, spelling, music, and even math!  The complete set, which we were able to try, consists of 70 non-talking blocks and 19 talking blocks. The starter set includes the 70 non-talking blocks and the talking Blue Color Block. The other talking blocks are sold in sets of 3.  You can view the sets HERE

Starting at age 1, you can use the talking Color Blocks to teach about colors and good manners by using statements such as, "I am a block that’s green, and I am never mean.” You can use your judgement as to when your child is ready to start learning the next set all the way up to the Math Blocks which helps your child learn to add and subtract.  Be sure to visit the Technology page to see how the building sets work.  The Puzzle Secrets page will show you ways to find hidden puzzles (secret animations that are found by placing the blocks differently).

My Review
Scott has been extremely helpful with my review, from giving me updates on how his kids are using the blocks to sharing the link to the new blog.  I felt very confident about this product from the start.  I could tell that this product was created especially for kids enjoyment and learning.  I like toys with a purpose!  Sydney started to enjoy blocks around the same time as Scott contacted me, so I was pretty sure this would be a hit with her. I was right!  As soon as we opened the box, she was ready to build.  We played with all of the sets, but her favorite set is definitely the Music and Dancing Lights set.  She loves to see if she can make them sing and light up.  Now that you know how great Sydney thinks these blocks are, I'll tell you my thoughts on them!

After opening the blocks, my first thought (as a cheap, uh frugal mom) was that these were probably VERY expensive.  So I got on the website to check it out.  The starter set is only $29.95, which is very reasonable if you ask me.  The 6 talking block sets cost $19.95 each, which seems a little expensive, but you definitely don't have to buy them all at the same time...and you can always add them to your child's birthday or Christmas wish list!  After I realized that the prices weren't bad, I started reading more and more about the talking blocks.  You definitely have to read the instructions with the talking blocks in order to help your child learn how to use them.  I really like the idea behind these blocks, and I can't wait to help teach Sydney more with them; however, if you are a parent that doesn't want to take the time to "learn" about the blocks first - this is probably not a product for you.  Yes, your child can build with them and get the talking blocks to make sounds, but they won't get the full learning experience without your help!  I will admit that I have been a little frustrated with the blocks at times, but after I go back and refresh my memory on how each set works, I realize that I was missing something.  Honestly, Sydney does better with some of them than I do!

Overall, this is a great product!  The price is reasonable, and it can be a great help in teaching your child.  I just want you to be forewarned that you as a parent will have to do some learning with your child on this one...which I don't think is a bad thing.  This gives parents a toy to enjoy with young children!  I could definitely say a lot more about these blocks, so if you want to hear more about my experience - email me at somommy247@gmail.com.

Helpful Links:

**Thanks to Scott and Smarcks for allowing me to try this product in exchange for my review.  Feel free to email me at somommy247@gmail.com if you have any questions for me about my experience with these blocks.**
blog comments powered by Disqus