View Full Version : Unit blocks?

09-17-2011, 10:07 PM
My parents are looking for a birthday present for my soon to be 2 year old daughter. Is she old enough for unit blocks?

If so, what brand would you suggest? They're willing to spend whatever amount.


09-17-2011, 10:34 PM
I think unit blocks are a great present for a second birthday. DS is eight and still plays with his unit blocks frequently.

Ours are seconds from barclay. We also have some hand me downs from Melissa and Doug and the barclay blocks are much, much nicer.



09-18-2011, 12:56 AM
We also have Barclay seconds and they are great and have held up perfectly for 6 years now. We also got them for DS1 when he was two, but he really didn't start playing with them till he was over three. He loved them from age 3-5. DS2 is now two and never plays with them. He much prefers the set of smaller colored blocks my cousin got him, probably because they are easier for him to handle since they are smaller and much lighter. I'd say to wait till he's three. DS2 does play with his Duplos several times a day though and I'd say they are his favorite building toy. Here's the small cheap blocks that DS2 prefers right now: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11773808

09-18-2011, 08:12 AM
We have a ton of unit blocks (truely- it would make a kindergarden teacher green with envy). We have Melissa and Doug, Guildcraft, some open stock from Creative Playthings and an unknown second hand "professional" set. Honestly my kids can't tell the difference and I'm not sure I know which is which anymore.

That said- my 22 month old will only "play" with the unit blocks when his big brothers do (which is often). Given the choice he prefers the TRU set linked above. I do expect he will play with the unit blocks more around two and a half heading into three.

I don't think you will regret buying unit blocks but I do think a two year old will need to grow into them a bit.

09-18-2011, 12:26 PM
Came back to add that my 22 monrh old does love magnatiles as well if you needed another option :)

09-20-2011, 03:44 PM
Thanks for the recs. I may hold off on them, but I will get them at some point.

For the Barclays, I looked at their site and there seem to be many different sets. Are there any that you particularly recommend?


09-21-2011, 09:07 AM
We got ours for DD around 18 months and she has always loved them. At 2, she really began building. Now, 2.5, she builds a castle every night before bed. I think the interest will vary from child to child, but they are definitely a toy that lasts for years.
Also- ours are Guidecraft and we like them.

09-22-2011, 04:14 AM
The block book :
Hirsch, E. (1996)
Perhaps the most important book on the use of blocks in the early childhood education.This expanded and updated classics helps teachers discover interesting games to play with blocks. It details the rich contributions of blocks to creativity and dramatic play as well as science, math, social studies, and other fields of learning. Includes tips for equipping and organizing the block area.

09-22-2011, 08:58 AM
I love the M&D plain wood unit blocks - they are so durable and have gotten a lot of play in our house over the years.


The thing that is great about them is that they are a big enough size to actually build things. We had cheaper knock-off unit blocks that were tiny, and they weren't very fun. These are substantial and can make roads/walls/houses that are more fun for other toys.

09-22-2011, 07:40 PM
We have Barclay blocks too (along with several other blocks) and like them quite a bit. Before I ordered I emailed the company, to figure it out. I am guessing the person who e-mailed me back is the owner and you can tell he really enjoys what he does and seems like a really nice guy. I was actually talked out of getting the Maple Firsts and out of getting a larger set for my son (who was turning 3), he suggested adding on each year as he gets older. Anyway, I have the Walker Book Kit and the book. The book really shows you some neat stuff to build, along and the kit comes with enough pieces to build what is in the book. I plan on getting some of the castle pieces this year and maybe the road planks.

In your shoes, I would probably get one of the smallest sets and then if she enjoys building with them add on with something like the Walker Book Kit.