When in comes to consumer goods, we live in a Mega-Sized society. Everything seems to be super-sized, as if a product isn’t worth purchasing unless there is a lot of stuff in the box. Where we once had Small, Medium and Large for sizes, we now have Giant, Jumbo and Mega. You can go into a toy store and easily find children’s blocks in sets with hundreds of blocks.
First Blocks by Haba http://www.haba.de has only 8. That wasn’t a typo, it has exactly 8 incredibly wonderful blocks. The set contains: a car, a driver and 6 building blocks. So what makes First Blocks so special? It’s the quality of both the design and construction. The set is designed to stimulate a wide range of senses. One of the blocks has a mirror on one side, another has wooden beads inset and a third has a bell. The designs that are printed on the blocks are embossed giving some nice tactile feedback. Haba uses only water-based paints and varnishes. Safety matter to them and it shows. Unlike a lot of other painted blocks that I’ve seen, the paint doesn’t start to chip off when the blocks are banged around or chewed on.
The colors are bright and the shapes simple. It’s a product that is made to foster creative play. Each of the blocks engages a child’s brain in a different way. And best of all, did I mention that it has only 8 blocks? For those of us that often say “We’re gonna need a bigger house” when we cast our eyes out over the sea of mega-sized toys our children have accumulated it’s nice to have something that’s both compact and engaging.
My son Josiah never seems to get bored with this set. It’s almost always the first toy he reaches for.
You can get First Blocks locally at:
The Play House Toy Store
702 9th Street
It’s a great store, they even have a lending library, so you can try an item first.