Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide Review: WEDGiTS

Nate is in the middle of a "hard hat" phase at the moment. He adores his Peek-a-Boo blocks, Mega Bloks and his wooden ring stacker. Basically anything that he can put together, knock down or take apart and then put back together again. Repeatedly. I can safely say he has inherited his daddy's love of engineering. So, when I was contacted to review a new concept in children's building blocks, I knew I had to sit up and pay attention.

WEDGiTS are fun and challenging, multi-dimensional building sets. WEDGiTS pieces can be nested, stacked, linked and wedged together to create hundreds of designs. Encouraging imagination, creativity and group participation, WEDGiTS offer endless hours of creative challenge and entertaining fun. WEDGiTS are so much fun, your child won’t realize you've selected the toy as a learning tool.

Early childhood age children are stimulated with the endless ways that WEDGiTS can stack and nest together. Pre-school children quickly learn the relationships between horizontal and vertical. Elementary aged kids create everything from lifelike creatures to futuristic spacecraft.

Recommended for children as young as one, WEDGiTS have been earning awards for over a decade. Some of their most impressive honors include the 2002 Learning Magazine Teachers Choice Award; the 2001 Parents Choice Silver Honor Award and 1998 Parenting Magazine Toy of the Year Award.

I was shocked to learn that WEDGiTS have been around and earning accolades for so long. I had never heard of them before!

We were sent the WEDGiTS Imagination Set (ARV $22.99) to review. This 15-piece building set is labeled for ages 3+ and includes geometric shapes such as rhombus, octahedron, square, 90-degree parts and elongated arms.

Nate couldn't wait to play with them. He literally stood at my feet, reaching up for the toys as I tore open the box. The moment I freed all of the pieces, he went to town building his creations. The primary colors were stimulating and pleasing to the eye while the chubby plastic was easy for him to hold and manipulate. At 16.5 months, he had no problems building a pyramid all by himself. As a busy toddler with people to see and places to go, he rarely spends more than 5-10 minutes with a toy at a time. But with his WEDGiTS, he spent upwards of 20 minutes building towers and knocking them over to the thrill of the *clinkity clink* as they tumbled down.

I enjoyed watching him experiment and learn how the pieces fit together. He was particularly fascinated with sliding the white extension arms through the square pieces.

But Nate wasn't the only one testing them out. We all took turns joining in on the fun, playing with the WEDGiTS as a family and developing our own masterpieces.

We've had the WEDGiTS set for almost a month now and we play with them just about everyday. I love that we have an entertaining yet educational toy that won't drive me bonkers with monotonous sounds and lights or cost me an arm and a leg in batteries. The price is competitive with Legos, Mega Bloks and other construction sets so it will be easy to purchase additional pieces and accessories as Nate grows. While the Imagination Set was recommended for ages 3-10, I think it is fine fun for kids of all ages.

Bottom line: I would highly recommend adding WEDGiTS to your child's toybox this holiday season. They are affordable, easy to store and something to engage the entire family.

BUY IT: You can purchase WEDGiTS online or use their handy dandy store locator to find the retailer nearest you (ARV $13.99 - $99.99, depending on package). Check out their Wee WEDGiTS line of soft, poly-vinyl blocks for children under 1 and Mini WEDGiTS for older children to assemble more complex designs.


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