Luther has been sent some wooden, eco building blocks from Toyella to test out. He has had a set of cardboard stacking cubes for a while now and some plastic cups that he’s enjoyed knocking over as a baby, but now he’s getting bigger, and looking more like a little boy (eeekk!) he’s trying to build with them, so, it seemed the perfect time to get him a slightly more advanced toy to learn from and enjoy.
I’m a huge fan of wooden toys and eco products (my husband might say obsessive, I’d say it’s a perfectly healthy interest in all senses of the word) and this bumper bag of smooth, plain wooden blocks is simply perfect. Aptly named Build Mix, they are made by Italian specialists in wooden children’s toys, Milaniwood. Their products are created by young Italian designers who pay attention to trends and aim to produce high quality, eco-friendly and long-lasting pieces. I do like the fact that they are designed and made in Italy; it feels not only beautifully traditional (thinks: Geppetto) but also quite fitting as we are raising Luther to speak both English and Italian.
This Build Mix set has a generous 67 pieces and comes in 17 shapes, including rings, spherical columns and curved pieces ideal for roof building. The wood used is FSC certified meaning that it comes from managed forests. The wood itself is pale and smooth and has a lovely feel to it for both adult and tiny hands. The blocks come in a natural cotton draw-string bag. It’s all very aesthetically pleasing and passed both the style and eco-conscious mummy test. But that’s not really the point: if it doesn’t pass the baby test it just ends up in a cupboard!
I tipped the bag out onto the floor for Luther, who crawled over to look at the pieces. He’s had them a week now and it’s been quite interesting to see how he’s developed on that short time in the way he interacts with them. Initially he was picking pieces up and chewing them (he’s teething so naturally pretty much everything is going into his mouth). I then built a few buildings and he knocked them down Godzilla style with no small measure of glee. Next came the drumming and smacking of blocks together, which resulted in unbridled joy. The next day I tipped them out and he carefully passed me each block so that they piled up on my lap. He then decided I had far too many and took them away again!
He’s now going up to the bag and helping himself, which is rather sweet to watch. He took a load out of the bag and put them in his toy box, which shows true acceptance into the canon of treasured toys. As silly as it might sound, he’s really quite selective with his toys, and most of his focus goes into books, but these blocks are really getting some air time.
The blocks are wonderful and they’ve got a long life as he’ll be able to enjoy them and learn from them for years. I love seeing them in his playroom and he’s enjoying them on a daily basis. When he graduates with a degree in architecture I’ll know who to thank!