Product Type: Mega Bloks baby toys
Newest Review: ... pink or purple Bloks you'd get my undying gratitude! †Sorry, had to get that ask in! Mega Bloks are just fun. Me and all of the kids ha... more
Building for Success
Member Name: cmh4135
Advantages: Easy for small hands
Disadvantages: Not very versitle
Roll forward 30 years and again I find myself playing with bricks, only this time the carpet is a more tasteful neutral colour and the bricks are significantly larger.
Mega blocks are very similar to traditional Lego, just much bigger. The brightly coloured bricks connect together in the same way as Lego and imagination is the only limitation on what can be created. The large plastic bricks have rounded corners and are ideal for small hands making them suitable for children from about their first birthday.
We have two sets of Mega Blocks in the house, a traditional set of 100 blocks and a Winnie the Pooh boat set.
The traditional set is probably played with the most. My 16 month-old son has great fun tipping the bricks out of the box they came in and then proceeding to connect them together in a higgledy fashion. Watching my son play one can see his development Ė where at first he found it hard to connect the blocks, now he accomplishes this with ease concentrating now on how the blocks fit together when thereís more than just a simple stack. You watch him puzzle over why the tower will topple when a 4-piece block is put on top of a stack of single blocks. When weíre done we have just as much fun putting the bricks back into the box.
The joy of Mega Blocks for young minds is that you donít have to be that accurate. Single bricks will stack without being square on which means that building can commence before the child has the accuracy required for traditional Lego.
The size of the blocks means that there is a limit to what can be built. Towers and bridges are straightforward enough but anything more has proved somewhat more challenging. There are some suggested models on the side of the box but I think Iíd struggle to make them from the pictures, let alone a small child. This constraint is not really an issue yet but I can imagine that an older, creative child might well get frustrated.
The only real negative I have at this stage is that the box lid is rather confusing to a child. The lid has raised bits on it rather like the raised bits on each brick and my son is now convinced that he ought to be able to build on the lid. Unfortunately this is not possible as the lidís raised bits are purely decorative and are completely the wrong size for the blocks. Mega blocks have missed a trick here I fear.
The Winnie the Pooh boat set is less popular at the moment although as my sonís imagination develops that might well change. In additional to the usual square blocks there are also a few nautically themed bricks, a shipís wheel, flag, lifebuoy and a model of Winnie the Pooh dressed in a sailorís outfit. There is also a plastic, pre-fabricated boat comprising three parts; a hull, deck and roof. There are a few places on the roof and hull of the boat where the blocks can be connected but, to my mind, the ability to play with the boat as base for building is rather limited. I rather think that the boat and bricks will be played with separately.
Interestingly, despite the fact that they are ostensibly the same bricks I have noticed that a few of the bricks from the boat set do not connect well with the bricks from the traditional set; theyíre a bit too loose. Itís not a major issue but something to bear in mind if combining several sets for an older child.
I can see many hours of fun being had with these bricks and I think they provide an excellent introduction to creative building. They encourage fine motor skills and I clearly see my son thinking through problems as to why the towers he builds wonít stand up or why a block with three units wonít fit into a space thatís only two units wide. Weíre teaching colours using the bricks as well.
Mega Blocks are widely available and to my mind are an excellent investment for a child.
Summary: A good basic introduction to building bricks