Toy Review: Hamleys Wooden Blocks

Just when a baby learns to sit up he needs toys that he can hold, move, bang, stack and throw. One of my favourite pastime was to watch V  handle his toys. So when he moved from infancy to babyhood, and he was done with rattlers, I bought him a stack of blocks. In four primary colours and in 8 shapes, these plastic blocks have been our companions ever since V turned 7 months.  Recently I used them to make colour flashcards for V…but that’s another post.

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I didn’t have to teach V how to use them. He pretty much figured it out himself that these blocks in decreasing size go one inside another. He discovered that a big block doesn’t go inside a small block and that if he breaks the pattern and sequence  some blocks will stay out.

Blocks help a child develop motor skills. Holding these blocks,  moving them around and stacking them one above the other stimulates their concentration,  adaptation and learning skills.

When we walked into Hamleys for the first time,  and I had recovered from the visual delight of what a toy world looks like, I went looking for toys for V. I had been looking for wooden toys for a while and then I saw these wonderful wooden blocks.

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Like most blocks available, these blocks come in bright colours. And each of the 5 sides have been optimally used to paint alphabets, words, numbers and images. There are 10 blocks in all for numbers 1-10 and alphabets a-j.

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Hamleys suggests these blocks for kids over 12 months. And the pictures will tell you why. Individually these wooden blocks are easy to hold. The large ones can get bulky for young kids.  So if you have a child who has just learnt to walk,  then it is a good idea to keep a close watch. What we like about these blocks is that they are light. A year old child can easily handle these blocks one at a time. He can move them around, and the smooth wooden finish ensures there aren’t any nasty splinters playing spoilt sport.

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I find these blocks very child friendly. They are great learning tools for early literacy. V is now 2 years old and he is just beginning to count and identify numbers. So while he can read numbers 1-10, these blocks help us count and identify how each number looks. I agree, for alphabets the learning stops at j…but then I look at these blocks as a starting point in literacy.

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Trust a child to find utility! So when he is tired of learning numbers, he conveniently stacks these blocks to make a multi-level car garage for his baby cars.

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And sometimes they are used as boats for V’s animals…Pooh, Hamba (Kiddie-Bangla for cow) Froggie and Doggie.

Hamleys has priced these blocks at Rs 1499…a little steeply priced considering that their utility as a learning aid for alphabets is limited. However despite this shortcoming,  I would suggest them for early learning and pre-school kids. Considering V often drops and rough handles these blocks, they have neatly borne the falls tull now. So barring the few chipped paints here and there I know these blocks can be handed down to cousins and shared with friends.

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Here’s how we rate the Hamleys Wooden Blocks on a scale of 5:

Looks: 5

Purpose: 4

Longevity: 5

Durability: 4

Utility: 5

Price: 3

What learning toys do you like to buy for your kids?  Do you let your child pick her toys? Do you buy toys that let a child improvise and use imagination in his play?

Did you find this review useful? We would love to hear from you.

We consider our toys very precious. They are our playmates and we handpick our friends very carefully. Our reviews are borne out of our experiences and are completely unbiased.

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6 thoughts on “Toy Review: Hamleys Wooden Blocks

  1. Good review Rituparna! I also liked the soft toys peaking out of the boxes, I guess I should get some for my son too. He is almost 26 months. I will recommend building blocks for learning Alphabets. I never intentionally taught him about alphabets. He would only play with blocks when he was 20 months or so. One day, we made T, and I showed it to him in his ABCD book. And then there was no looking back. We would make simple alphabets, graduating to more complicated ones. And he would insist that we make them. Soon he learnt all. Then I got him those ABCD puzzles, where you match A with Apple, B for Bag and so on. We also got the magnetic ABCD [which he hardly ever used on the board] but he loved putting them in line. He learnt all Alphabets by 24 months, of course the sequence is yet to grow on him. So, to cut the long story, involve him in making alphabets with blocks. It will work like magic. My son just wants to play CDBD [ABCD] now. I am also gonna check out these boxes now. I love these kind of things more than any toy-toy.

    • Hi Reema,

      Thank you for dropping in! 🙂 Yes, in fact there are so many alphabet games that I am tinkering with…waiting for V to grow up. Children I have noticed don’t need to be taught. They learn a lot more by observing and playing. V has picked his numbers just like that. It is such a pleasure to watch kids interact with their world and picking up their own lessons. Thank you for the tip…it always helps to have mothers read and recommend.

      Do keep knocking for more reviews.

    • Thanks Swapna! Yes, the bigger ones, actually the last 3 are good for storage. So unless I pass them onto other kids, I may turn these into toy brackets on the wall. For books, toys & random kiddie accessories.

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