The first thing you notice about these “kids” blocks is that the packaging is really well executed. Rather than a tall and narrow Jenga-like box where it’s difficult to get the blocks in and out (at least for me), this sturdy box opens more like a briefcase and a clear thick plastic cover showcases the blocks very artistically. It’s also compact and reusable which is a big bonus, especially for parents who have limited space.
The pretty colours and the display-like case were enough to draw Mary in.
As Mary and Jon immediately began to try and build things together (the box says ages 1 to 99!), I was drawn to the small booklet tucked neatly underneath the blocks. It briefly described the Tegu story and provided some sample ideas. The Tegu magnetic blocks are manufactured in Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras. The founders wanted to create a for-profit company that would be transformative for the people of Honduras and their economy while using sustainable materials (for more info: http://www.tegu.com/our-story/).
On their website and in their pamphlet, Tegu magnetic blocks are described as “bringing new life to a favored classic” and as having “taken a good thing and made it great”. I agree with these statements in that these magnetic blocks are a fun twist on a child favourite, but they wouldn’t replace regular wooden blocks in my books. They are a different product. Whereas regular blocks challenge the ability to build and balance, for example, these magnetic blocks are more about exploration and freedom in creativity as the blocks can cling to each other in designs that wouldn’t work with traditional wooden blocks.
As I tested the blocks and tried to make some of the more intricate structures shown in the pamphlet, I noticed right away the high quality of the blocks. You can tell from the look and feel of them that they are well-crafted. Jon and I looked for the seams in the blocks that would show where the magnets were inserted, and it was very difficult. One con to these blocks is actually due to their magnetic system and their north and south pole. Because they aren’t clearly marked on the blocks, I actually knocked down a few structures by bringing two blocks with like poles too close together, which caused them to repel and my “castle” fell. After some examination, I saw that “Tegu” is written in white ink on one end of each block. This solved the mystery – don’t let two Tegu ends touch! I blame my bad eyesight…
All in all, these are different but really fun and don’t let the word “blocks” box you in to how you could play with these magnetic toys. This particular package came in a variety of shapes and colours, so you could also test knowledge of shapes, colours and counting among other traditional learning games. Mary and I had fun making “pictures” on the blocks with her other magnets, and when we tested out the magnets on money, they were easily strong enough to hold a quarter upright. In my mind, I see myself using these as a unique teaching tool for Mary when it comes to recognizing the different coins and learning about financial basics. This set will bring out the inner scientist in you.
I believe that the price is worth what you get. Sometimes you have to pay a bit more for quality. However, the larger sets are expensive and maybe could be put on a wishlist for Santa (or a generous family member).
Many thanks to Baby enRoute in Ottawa for providing this fun and educational toy to review!
Tegu Magnetic Blocks Giveaway
Enter to Win the Tegu Magentic Blocs courtesy of Baby enRoute!
Winner must pick up the Tegu Magnetic Blocks at baby enRoute store at 416 Richmond Rd. in Ottawa.
Giveaway is open to Ottawa area residents until May 12th, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST.
Rules: Open to Ottawa residents 18 +. Winner must pick up the Tegu Magnetic Blocks at baby enRoute store, 416 Richmond Rd. in Ottawa. You have 48 hours to reply by email once you are notified as the winner. If you don’t, we will draw another entry. Prize is non-transferable. No substitution or cash equivalent of prizes is permitted. The selected winner must correctly answer a mathematical question in order to win the prize mentioned above. The Ottawa Mommy Club is not responsible for prize fulfillment. For our complete set of rules, please click here.