Around the World in 80 Blocks!
Educational Wood Block Toys
Children and adults love wood blocks! It's amazing how something so simple as a tiny piece of wood can be so much fun and educational at the same time. (That is my favorite kind of toy, you know, as a parent and a teacher!) So, what's so great about a pile of wooden blocks? Well, they are sturdy, hard to break, long lasting, Earth-friendly, and classic! OK, not convincing enough? Well, think about this.
Wood blocks are a toy that can grow with a child's educational needs. They help children who are learning to pick a toy up as a baby for the first time, starting to identify letters, numbers, colors, sizes, and geometric shapes, improving their coordination and motor skills trying to build their first tower (or, knock down Mommy's tower as my kids thought was funny as toddlers!), creating an imaginary land, constructing a town, working with others, sharing their blocks, taking turns, learning patience when something doesn't work as they wish, developing their problem solving strategies, strengthening their mathematical and physics abilities, and simple having a fantastic time doing it! Convinced that wood blocks are cool, yet?
OK, I'll go one more step with a story about my young builders. When my children and I were learning about the ancient civilizations in our homeschool a few years ago, I noticed that after reading about Egypt, a few pyramids built out of dear old blocks, "Legos", and "Lincoln Logs" started appearing in their play time! ("Ha, ha," I thought. "They are reinforcing what we learned about in their play!") I firmly believe that the best learning sessions happen when people are having fun! Later in the year I noticed the "Parthenon", the "Roman Coliseum", and other locations being created with their toys! Now, if that is not fantastic, I don't know what is!
Starting to think about the children's Christmas list for this year made me do some searching for other educational toys. What I found (that I hope to add to their building supply) has got to be the best wooden blocks ever! I've included some educational information along with these blocks to get your interest peaked and for you to be able to use them as a stepping stone for learning if you choose! Have fun checking these toys out and let me know what you think about them. :-D
If you would like to know more about the educational value of wooden blocks, you may want to read the wonderful article, Wooden Block Play: Build a Child's Mind. It contains some thoughts about how blocks are a type of toy that help a child grow socially, physically, intellectually, and creatively.
Egyptian Pyramid Blocks
The Pyramids at Giza, Egypt
Some of the best loved and oldest architecture in the world comes from Egypt! The ancient Egyptian builders were extremely intelligent in their designs and techniques that have lasted over millennium!
Roman Architectural Blocks
The Coliseum, Rome, Italy
Photo Credit Thanks to Jimmy Walker
Mayan Temple Architectural Blocks
Tikal Mayan Temple, Guatemala
Mayan Temple Architectural Blocks by Haba: "The Mayan Temple Block Set by Haba lets you drift back 1500 years to the time when Mayan civilization was at its peak in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Among their great structures, they built the pyramid temple El Castillo to their god, Kukulkan and the Temple of the Warriors. This Mayan Temple Block Set by Haba allows you to build your own temple or use these pieces with other master builder block sets to make a style of your own. Mayan Temple Block Set by Haba
contains 80 wooden pieces in 14 shapes.Ages 3 and
up.By Haba." ~ Review by KazooToys
History Lesson Plans and Activities
Ancient Civilizations Lesson Ideas
Find tons of information to use in the study of ancient civilizations around the globe including ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, India, Africa, and Meso-American cultures!
Medieval Period Architectural Blocks
Santa Maria del Naranco, Spain
Medieval Castle Architectural Blocks by Haba: 'Step back in time with the Medieval Castle Block set by Haba. Use your imagination in building a castle and fortress with the Medieval Castle Block set by Haba. Medieval Castle Block set by Haba contains 110 wooden pieces in 21 shapes.Ages 3 and up.By Haba." ~ Review by KazooToys
Castle Blocks - Creative Imaginative Play
... for brave young knights and beautiful princesses!
Guidecraft Castle Block Set: "Rebuild great structures from ancient history, or challenge your kids to create new architectural works of art with these tabletop block sets by Guidecraft. The 40-piece set contains several different shapes for building fun. Material: Hardwood, Plastic Bucket; Ages 3 and up;By Guidecraft." ~ Review by KazooToys
Inveraray Castle, Scotland Photo Thanks to StaraBlazkova
Baroque Period Architectural Blocks
Fachada del Santuario, Spain
Baroque Architectural Block Set By Haba: "Create expressive architectural formations reminiscent of the Post-Renaissance era with the Baroque Architectural Blocks by Haba . Your dynamic creations will possess theatrical flair. The Baroque Architectural Blocks by Haba include 86 pieces in 25 distinct shapes.Ages 3 and up.By Haba." ~ Review by KazooToys
Photo Credit Thanks to Gregorico
Romantic Period Architectural Blocks
The Stockholm Courthouse, Sweden
Romantic Architectural Blocks by Haba: "Become a master builder from the millennium with the Romantic Block set from Haba. Build a stately castle or a cathedral that will stand for centuries using the unique blocks in the Romantic Block set from Haba. Unique architectural elements are reminiscent of the Romanesque style from central Europe. Romantic Block set from Haba contains 54 pieces in 15 shapes.Ages 3 and up.By Haba." ~ Review by KazooToys
Architectural Style Periods
What is your favorite style period of architecture?
Middle East Architectural Blocks
The Temple Mound, Jerusalem
Middle Eastern Architectural Blocks by Haba: "With some of the most unique architectural shapes, the Middle Eastern Block Set by Haba will inspire the creative inside you. Build little villages with the Middle Eastern Block Set by Haba. Each Middle Eastern Block Set by Haba contains 50 wooden pieces in 13 shapes.Ages 3 and up.By Haba." ~ Review by KazooToys
Japanese Architectural Blocks
Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Japan
Japanese House Architectural Blocks by Haba: "The Japanese House Blocks by Haba represent one of the oldest cultures in the world. The Japanese House Blocks by Haba have one of the most beautiful forms of architecture! Commplicated multitier roofs and ornate pagodas allow the builder to create temples, palaces or calming formal gardens. The Japanese House Blocks by Haba contains 63 pieces in 23 shapes.Ages 3 and up.By Haba." ~ Review by KazooToys
Russian Architectural Blocks
Saint Basil's Cathedral, Russia
Russian Architectural Blocks by Haba: "Russian Blocks by Haba resemble the Russian Empire which was vast and culturally diverse. The architecture drew upon many peoples and religions. This Russian Blocks set by Haba combines many of the domes and arches that Russian Czars and religious leaders used in constructing buildings in Moscow and St Petersburg. Russian Blocks set by Haba contains 55 pieces in 16 shapes.Ages 3 and up.By Haba." ~ Review by KazooToys
Photo Credit Thanks to David Crawshaw.
American Architectural Blocks
The United States Capitol, USA
Capitol Architectural Blocks by Haba: "The Capitol Set of Blocks by Haba contains domes and arches in this grand set of blocks. Create the style and grandeur of the United States capitol as well as many state capitol and municipal buildings with the Capitol Set of Blocks by Haba. Just as our founding fathers had a creative vision, your imagination can create innovative buildings and monuments. Capitol Set of Blocks by Haba contains 70 pieces in 25 shapes.Ages 3 and up.By Haba" ~ Review by KazooToys
Nationalistic Architectural Styles
Which is your favorite nationalistic style of architecture?
ABC & 123 Building Blocks ...
for the youngest learners with blocks!
Wood ABC/123 Blocks by Melissa & Doug:
Learn to count, spell, or just have fun building with the 50 alphabet blocks!
Hardwood Block Set ...
for all kinds of creations!
Hardwood Deluxe Unit Blocks 68 Pieces by Beka: "These Beka Hardwood Unit Blocks are the best! They are hard maple unit blocks that will last a lifetime. All are smooth sanded, have rounded edges and corners and have no artificial finish. A variety of shapes are included as well as the standard units. These blocks are based on the traditional rectangular unit of 1-3/8" x 2-3/4" x 5-1/2". This Beka set contains 68 blocks. Made in the USA.Ages 1 and up.By Beka."