* This post was created in collaboration with GIGI Bloks. We received the product mentioned below to facilitate our review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
My daughter has a lot of toys but she only really plays with a couple of them. Pinypon figurines, board games, and wooden blocks are some of the things she enjoys playing with, but her favorite “toys” by far are cardboard boxes.
Whenever we get packages in the mail, Sofia asks for the boxes and gives them a new life. Usually, she fills them with her toys and craft materials, then wraps them with paper and creates presents but she also loves to use those empty boxes for building.
As you can see, she mostly prefers open-ended toys and I couldn’t be happier about it: open-ended toys give children endless possibilities to let their imagination soar!
For me, one of the best open-ended toys are all kinds of building blocks. Did you know that using blocks while playing has many benefits for kids? If not, keep reading and find out why every kid needs building blocks!
1) Playing with building blocks fosters creativity & imagination
After seeing how much my daughter loves playing with boxes, I knew she would enjoy cardboard boxes that could be used like normal building blocks – imagine the things that can be created!
Well, surprise surprise: those cardboard building blocks actually already exist in Latvia and they are called GIGI Bloks!
These plain interlocking cardboard blocks are perfect for kids who love building big structures. The box we have includes 100 XXL size blocks and can be used for building whatever the kids like. There are no instructions so imagination is the limit when creating new designs with GIGI Bloks.
As the blocks can be used in numerous ways and not just for building, these blocks foster creativity and imagination. The blocks are always the same but can be used for constructing different buildings. The first thing we built was a castle. Sofia decided to decorate it a little and added a sheepskin rug and some pillows and the castle turned into a comfy reading and relaxing nook.
She also used the blocks as shoes 🙂 , made beds for her dolls and even built a 3-story house for her PinyPon dolls. As you can see, there are hundreds of ways to use building blocks in different play situations. You can also check out GIGI Bloks gallery to see all the fun shapes that be created with these giant blocks.
2) Playing with blocks can help develop problem-solving skills
Studies (1, 2) have shown that building blocks can help develop problem-solving skills. When creating new designs, kids have to ask themselves how many blocks they need and how to stack them so they would form the design they are envisioning. They need to use their critical thinking to figure out how to create windows or doors so they won’t collapse. If building a tower, they have to consider how to keep it from falling and find solutions to other problems that occur during construction time.
While I was folding the blocks, Sofia tried to build a tower. It fell down several times, so she figured out how to make it stronger and avoid toppling; problem-solving skills came-in handy here!
These blocks come as flat sheets of cardboard and you or bigger kids have to fold them and create the blocks. Our set had double unit blocks, single unit blocks, and triangle unit blocks so before starting to put-together the blocks, I checked out the instructions video, just in case. 🙂 It took me around 45 minutes to fold all 100 blocks. I did help Sofia with the tower a little and took some photos while folding, so it might take you a little bit less to finish folding all the blocks.
3) Block play strengthens math skills
While we were creating a market booth, we had to calculate the blocks we needed, decide what shape we wanted the booth window to be and how many shelves we need to display the fruits and veggies. All these activities required math skills like estimation, comparison, shapes, sums, measurements, etc.
Building blocks are giving kids a fun way to play but at the same time also learn new skills and broaden their knowledge. After our experience, I have to say that the GIGI Bloks are not only entertaining for kids but for adults, too! Playing with these blocks has resulted in a couple of really amusing evenings for our entire family.
GIGI Bloks shop offers different building blocks sets:
There are three main sets – Big Blocks XL, Epic Blocks XXL, and Creative Gift Set XL. In every set, you can choose the number of blocks you want to order.
Things we love about GIGI Bloks:
- natural and user-friendly
- produced from sustainable tree plantations
- kids can decorate the blocks however they want
- do not make much noise when they fall
- do not scratch the floors
- perfect for both adults and kids
- helps develop new skills
- endless usage options
If you are already thinking about the holiday season, we totally recommend GIGI Bloks as a perfect Christmas gift for all the kids 3 years and up. Give the gift of creativity and imagination!