We are obsessed with blocks at the Matangi household. We have all different shapes, textures, sizes, etc. I’ll be the first to admit that I have not been very interested in blocks that have a specific structure in mind. Rather, I love the idea of open ended block play more, especially for young children. However, when I saw that Safari Ltd came out with some new BiOBUDDi building blocks I was excited to try them out with my girls. Usually structured block play leaves little ones feeling defeated and unsuccessful. Ultimately they are out of their zone of proximal development, requiring more help from mom, dad, or an older sibling than what is appropriate.
Easy & Fun Block Play
Despite my structured block play skepticism, I was pleasantly surprised to find out how truly incredible these new Safari Ltd BiOBUDDi block sets were! We played with the Safari Ltd BiOBUDDi Elephant & Toucan Jungle Block Set. Without any help from mom, the girls (ages 4.5 and almost 3) immediately grasped what they were supposed to do!
The instruction picture cards were clear and scaffolded them step by step from each picture to the next. Although my almost 3 year old still needed a little bit of help and encouragement from mom, this was the first set of blocks that my 4 year old did quickly and completely on her own! She felt confident and competent after completing her Elephant. My almost 3 year old also felt happy and successful as we completed the bird portion of this set together. This of course made my momma heart beam! Anytime a product leaves my child feeling a little more confident is a win in my book. I also felt a feeling of satisfaction in a product that encourages ingenuity, following instructions, and cognitive and fine motor development.
After my four year old completed this set for the first time, she proceeded to take it apart and do it over and over again. Not only was she beaming every time, but she even insisted on showing every person that came to our house how competent she was at this specific block set. She even insisted on face timing grandpa and grandma to show them as well.
One of the most challenging things I see with block sets that connect together is that they easily break apart, ultimately leaving little ones frustrated. This wasn’t the case for the Safari Ltd BiOBUDDi Blocks. The blocks stayed together while the girls were putting the pieces together. I also loved how secure the “sticker” portion of the character features were on the blocks.