Blocks rock and whether you’ve got a baby or a toddler, there’s something to suit all age groups. They’re great for stimulation and encouraging co-ordination, understanding balance and shapes, as well as promoting learning about colours, numbers, the alphabet or even animals. From soft, to wooden, to traditional, to quirky, here are nine hot buys starting from just Â£4!
1. Sebra Stacking Blocks You know we love all things Danish and these stacking blocks made from robust cardboard feature gorgeous illustrations of animals and numbers on the faces are Â£14.99 Kidsen
2. DwellStudio Soft Blocks For the third Christmas in a row, these blocks are still a firm favourite here at BG. Between the mix of the contemporary Dwell textiles, to the appliqued motifs, to their tactileness, these are really lovely to play with, and some jingle and rattle. Comes in chocolate brown storage tote. Â£23 Little Baby Company
Also check out Brio’s My Very First Soft Blocks, Â£10.99 Nubie
3. ‘BABY’ Blocks Set These are quite a steal and make a gorgeous stocking filler that could also double up as a decorative feature. Made from sustainable wood and printed with non-toxic inks. Â£4 Green Apple
4. Four Seasons Puzzle Blocks by Latitude Enfant I became an instant fan of these blocks when I saw these at Lula Sapphire’s offices recently. Not just any ‘ole soft blocks, these are built for longevity as they’re a beautifully illustrated progressive game. Each side of the cube can be joined up to form scenes to represent each season plus numbers and veggies for counting. Age 6 months+ Â£25.50 Lula Sapphire Get 10% off with the code BAMBINO09 until 24/12/09
5. MillerGoodman PlayShapes One that will be loved by parents and children alike, this is the hotness in wooden blocks. This set of 74 geometric wooden shapes can be arranged into shedloads of 3D creations. Crafted from smooth rubberwood, they can be arranged or stacked, plus the shapes can be used as templates for drawing, and before you start panicking, they come with a set of illustrations in an unbleached cotton bag. A design classic in the making for sure! Â£69.95 Shhhop
6. Zenblocks Ever since Lucy raved about these “objets d’art” a few months ago, we’ve been fascinated! They are very much a toy crafted from sustainable urban stocks of wood in Idaho and finished in eco friendly mineral oil, but I’m sure there are more than a few adults who’ll nick them for themselves and even display them in their living rooms. Get them plain or in striped walnut. From $24.75 Etsy – shipping $13 to the UK
7. Wooden ABC Blocks We’re long time fans of these traditionally styled wooden blocks which have been handcrafted from renewable and sustainable brasswood and decorated with non toxic inks. There’s 27 in the set with 4 alphabets, 3 sets of numbers, and 27 different animal pictures. Age 2+. Â£19.50 Green Apple
8. John Lewis Building Blocks Mixing primary’s with plain wood and a few colour hotspots, this set of 100 traditionally styled wooden blocks will have them building and stacking to their hearts content. We know several people who own these that love them and they sell out regularly! Â£20 John Lewis
Also try Brio’s coloured wooden blocks (the bambino has them) for a sleek, contemporary alternative although they are tricky to get a hold of online.
9. Shak-Shuka Felt and wood – what a fabulous combo. Another eco friendly buy made from natural wood, each side has a coloured felt shape with a little bit of grip. Aside from encouraging your toddler to match the colours up, plus the quirky blocks can be stacked as well. euro 22 Shak Shuka