Anyone else super tired of having to purge the toy room every few months of useless toys that do nothing more than cause a mess and add to the clutter of your home? Seriously! I had the chance to review these IO Blocks through Tryazon this last week. I was excited when I saw this opportunity as my kids love to build with different mediums, and these looked so fun. I was thrilled I was chosen because I love the idea of having more STEM toys (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) in our home. These toys are designed to help kids learn while they play, foster creativity, and encourage kids to expand their abilities. They paired building blocks with technology so that kids could see how to build more complex structures.
Here is what I loved about the IO Blocks:
I loved that the box was actually a storage box. I loved that it was a nice heavy duty Tupperware that allows easy clean up and storage. Our box had 500 different pieces in it, so there is plenty to go around. The kids have not been fighting for different shapes and sizes to complete their projects. It also came with 20 double sided cards with different ideas for the kids to build that show you what pieces you will need for that particular item along with a large picture of it. They have lots of different things for the kids to create -from airplanes and animals, to robots, to different structures like a windmill. These cards helped them get their creative juices flowing so they could make their very own creations.
Like for instance my daughter came to me with this bouquet of tulips – super simple but came from her little heart, so sweet 😉
She also made this deer – she got the idea from the cards, but made her own design.
My husband even got in on the action and made this cool looking robot!
I also loved that there were more simple designs for the younger kids, and the more complex to challenge the older kids. The age recommendation is 4+, but I had kids ages ranging from 2 years old on up to 9 years old playing with the IO Blocks. The younger ones just loved linking a few of the pieces together, the 4 year olds mostly made big towers, and 6+ kids were the ones who were actually trying to make recognizable items. Some of the kids would come up to me and say things like “Do you like my lion?” or “My horse can run fast” and they really did not have anything that looked like those animals in their hands, but I thought this was cool because these kids were really using their imaginations, something I see less of with all the smart phones and tablets around these days.
I also loved that we used the blocks for more than just building. We did color sorting with my youngest and then built towers of each individual tower. For my oldest I used them as manipulatives so she could see division in action. We have really enjoyed them the last few weeks.
What I did not love so much:
The IO Blocks actually have an app that helps you be able to see whatever you plan on making in augmented reality – this helps the kids be able to see all the different pieces and how they fit together. Without the app it is hard to see all the pieces and how they fit together. The cards just don’t do that for you. You wonder why I have this on the what I didn’t love side? Well I think it would be awesome to have, if it actually worked! I had it on my phone for about 2 weeks and it never did load, not even once. I unistalled and installed it several times and on 3 different devices but it never did work. I contacted those in charge and they said they were working on getting it back online.
My only other complaint would be that your littles who are not super careful can get frustrated with the blocks. My little guy LOVES airplanes and once we got it made for him he of course wanted to fly it and it would fall apart pretty quickly. This is something we have a hard time with – whether its with legos or these, they tend to fall apart ( like you can see the wing of the plane dipping), I felt like they are more to build and admire than to actually play a ton with.
So all that being said, I would give IO Blocks an 8 out of 10. My kids have really liked them, and while I know they are still a novelty because they are so new, my kids have been excited to show their friends when they come over, and they usually play at least an hour with them, and that is so much better than “Mom! We are bored!”
You can find different IO Block options at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Toys R’ Us, Target, and Walmart.
What do you think about these IO Blocks? Wonder if the kids in your life would enjoy them? I would love to hear what you think!
See the Happy!