Being December, Christmas is quickly creeping up on us. Luckily I’ve got your back! This month I’m letting each of my children choose their favorite age-appropriate toy (from the items we’ve recently reviewed) to be featured each week. As a general rule, I only accept toys for review that offer a great value, are made of durable, long-lasting materials and are either educational or encourage healthy developmental play. So if anyone is still scrambling for last minute gift ideas for their kiddos, they’ll have a few great options… all of which are available (at the time of publication) for purchase on Amazon for less than $30 and have 2-Day Prime shipping available. Does it get any better than that?
Charlie begged for first choice because he already had a toy in mind (one that he said he wants to order all his friends as birthday gifts this year):
Mental Blox 360 Degree 3-D Building Game
The materials used for this block building game are fantastic. Not only are the blocks themselves made of an incredibly strong, brightly colored plastic and the game cards glossy, double-sided and durable but even the box is well-constructed. I can see this set getting years of use and still looking good enough to hand down when our family eventually outgrows it. Growing up in a homeschooling household myself, I can confirm that this would be a wonderful addition to a classroom or homeschooling environment too. Learning Resources clearly spared no expense in the design and manufacturing of Mental Blox 360 and it shows.
This set brings so many unique factors to the table, it’s hard to know where to start gushing about it… First of all, the goal of the game is for children (ages 5 and up) to use the blocks to recreate the three-dimensional structures shown on the included cards. The cards themselves are language-free (again, perfect for a classroom environment!) and are color coded:
Mental Blox 360 is promoted as a “brain-boosting, make-you-think, point-of-view game” that “challenges players to build both 3-D puzzles and problem solving skills”… and it actually lives up to the hype! My 5-year-old and 7-year-old can both play contently with it for well over half an hour, completely engrossed with the tasks at hand. Although she can’t yet follow the directions on the cards, even my 3-year-old daughter enjoys freestyle play with the blocks thanks to the colorful over-sized shapes. The three kids actually do very well playing the game together, but Charlie prefers it as a single-player game because “It’s easier to focus”.
This would make a fantastic gift for any child in the suggested age range (5 and up) without being a hindrance to younger siblings who would naturally want to check it out. Thanks to language-free game cards, durable materials, a challenging problem-solving goal-oriented theme and large, colorful pieces, it would also be ideal for a homeschooling or classroom environment. All in all, a great set. Highly recommended by my entire family… but especially Charlie!
Disclaimer: This item was provided to me for free in order to facilitate this review. I pride myself on being an honest person though, so my opinion was not influenced in any way. I am also in no way obligated (or compensated) to share it here. I test hundreds of products and only a fraction of them are shared on my blog. That’s because only a fraction of them are extraordinary… in my opinion, anyway!