Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Green Start Stacking & Nesting Blocks

Green Start Stacking & Nesting Blocks

Fall 2011 Toys
Ages: 2 & Up
Manufacturer: innovativeKids
Price: $19.99

Remember that 80s commercial, "It's not your father's Oldsmobile"? Well, it might be hard to imagine how you update the most classic of all development toys. But these most certainly aren't your father's play blocks!

Made entirely from Earth-friendly materials, the Green Start Stacking & Nesting Blocks are remarkably sturdy-and colorful-for what basically amounts to recycled cardboard. Each of the five sides of the blocks (the sixth is open for nesting) uses colorful illustrations to teach something different: letters, numbers, colors, shapes, and even the names of baby animals. It's pretty impressive just how much they've fit onto the sides of these things. Plus, the nesting / stacking / building aspect teaches the concepts of size and spatial awareness.

As far as blocks go, these are one of the most innovative sets I've seen. But they still aren't innovative enough to capture and keep the interest of my toddlers on their own. Nor should they necessarily do that. Learning blocks like these really take effort from mom, dad or another adult getting involved and using playtime as an opportunity for learning too.

My husband and I weren't sure how our toddler testers would react to something as simple as blocks-even if they were a modern take on an old classic. We've been pleasantly surprised. They love to use the blocks to show us what words they know, and every day they pick up on another word for a number or color. And, thanks to the fact that the box they come in is also a handy carrying case, this is a toy we've already used for a few trips to grandma's house.

Angelique Rewers   ©2011 Parents' Choice

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