Have you heard of Picasso Tiles? Most people think of their popular magnetic tiles, which happen to be amazing! We were gifted a set for my son’s birthday and since then we’ve been using them for our everyday play. So I jumped on the opportunity to review the Picasso Tiles Bristle Shape 3D Blocks! I love how much imagination is used when constructing with these blocks. It is such an open-ended toy so kids can be as creative with them. I remember my cousin, a pre-school teacher and mom for for over 20 years telling me that these blocks are timeless and a must for every toy room and classroom. She is right! My kids usually have a short-attention span (of course, they are two and four years old). But with these bristle blocks, I have been amazed how much time they have spent focused on building their final products. Connecting the bristles is developmentally appropriate for them and it is easy.
Here are five reasons why I love these bristle shaped 3D blocks so much! And if you are in my extended family or friend, your child will most likely get a set for Christmas or their birthday.
- Occupational Therapy support: My son’s occupational therapist tells me that they are wonderful to help support him with his fine motor development such as bilateral integration, hand eye coordination, and hand division. So constructing with bristle blocks has been an amazing activity for his OT needs. He feels successful building with these blocks so he enjoys it and we are getting some OT practice during play.
- Use of imagination: When you give your child a constructed car, house or rocket ship the child has limited use of imagination. But when you give them open-ended pieces and ask them to construct something, now that requires imagination, thinking, independence, and problem-solving skills. These are all required to do well in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math) field. So I am amazed to see my kids building houses, rocket ships, cakes, butterflies, castles and cars using the bristle shape 3D blocks.
- Recreating an adventure, experience or story. These blocks are perfect for re-creating a zoo, farm, or whatever experience they just returned from. Usually when we go on a trip, the boys return eager to play what they just experienced. Going to the zoo? Grab a zoo map and have them re-create what they remember from their trip. Add some zoo animals to the mix, and now we are focusing on retelling and memory. Did you just read a book about trains? Provide the blocks to let them build their own train.
- Identify numbers, colors and shapes. These blocks are perfect for counting how many blocks it takes to make a car, box, or just for counting out the pieces. The blocks come in different colors so you can ask children to build something with just the yellow blocks, or red ones. There are four main bristle block shapes: circles, rectangles, squares and triangles. This is a great way for children to identify their shapes.
- Great toy for playdates! I am excited to bring these to our next playdate. What a way to incorporate team work and ask the kids to make something together or learn to take turns with certain pieces (i.e. wheels). There are 120 pieces in the Picasso Tiles Bristle Shape 3D Blocks for the kids to play with so this is plenty. So if you have a couple of kids of your own, this is a great toy for them to share and affordable.
Bonus: My mom approved them. My mom critiques everything. So when she saw the kids playing with them, she commented that the blocks allows the kids use their imagination. She was surprised at what the kids were constructing and that they spent a long time with them. She had positive reviews. That’s huge coming from my mama. She also loved the box that the bristle blocks come in because it was easy to pack them away. There’s a cool handle so the box is perfect for travel.