New kid on the Bloc – Citiblocs

I think games are a great way to bond with kids, to open their minds to new concepts and challenges, and encourage creativity through just tinkering around with objects. So lately, before bedtime, an alternative to reading stories is to ask K if she’d like to play a game. Thanks to Pamela’s loans, we’ve had a variety to explore. It’s been such a fun and relaxing way to spend bonding time! The latest we’ve had the privilege to explore is Citiblocs, whose simple appearance belies its amazing potential.  As they say, from little acorns come great oaks…

I was pleasantly surprised when K showed a lot of interest in the blocks and the idea book, chock full of architecture that you could construct with 35 to upwards of 1000 citiblocs. The book fascinated me too, to think that such intricate designs could be made from simple thin blocks of precision cut wood.
I kicked off the building, and she soon got the hang of it…
Ta-dah!  This was pretty easy to make, given its stable base.
K would then choose designs that caught her fancy, within the limit of the 50 blocks that we had, and I’d start making them…
This one features two “airplanes”!
This one (halfway done) was harder to construct. I was also amazed at how just one photo of a building is sufficient for the user to “figure out” how to construct it.  They didn’t even have to provide “architectural type” line drawings!
Ta DAH!
I particularly like this game because the possibilities are endless. Beyond the interesting ones featured in the idea book, kids could build anything they want, however they want, and subconsciously learn about balance and gravity, amongst other physics concepts (I am truly lousy at physics maybe would have done better if my teacher used this as a learning prop).  I guess it also trains fine motor skills of those 3 and above!  1.5 year old B was keen to “play” with the blocks but she didn’t quite have the patience to construct anything – at that age, it’s so much more fun to DESTROY!
Later

After I went to busy myself with B whilst K played by herself, I was surprised to see this scene.  Earthquake?  Collapsed buildings and bears buried under the rubble?  Just when I was wondering where my little girl got her morbid thoughts from, she trotted by and I asked her, “What happened? Did the building fall down on the bears?”  She said “No! It’s raining and the blocs are protecting the bears from getting wet!!”   Ah. So desu ne.  Interesting how their little minds tick… … We’ve played with it a few more times since, and K actually asks for it, which shows that its earned a place in her little heart. I think this is a game that will last through many different ages.  For those 6 and above, I can see how it’ll be great tool to train their patience (collapsed? nevermind! try again!) and spatial awareness (looking at the idea book and figuring out how to construct various buildings).  Even for adults, it’s really fulfilling to see a completed structure and marvel at how some simple wooden blocks can create such a thing of beauty and symmetry.

 Note: We received a box of Citiblocs from www.myfirstgames.sg for the purpose of this review.  Stay tuned for a special giveaway offer from this site soon!

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