guidecraft.jpgOne of my favourite toys for kids is anything that can be built. I don’t think it matters what gender you are, all kids love to build and make new creations. I know with my boys their love of building started at a young age. I think one of the reasons why is because there are no rules to follow or right or wrong way to build, you can just be creative and make whatever your heart desires. Being a busy mom, I also love any toy that keeps the kids busy for a longer period of time, and building has always been a great time consumer in my house.

Today I’m talking Guidecraft, and two of their building style toys called IO Blocks and Power Clix. Both of these products are building sets but are presented in different ways.

Introduction and what’s in the box

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The IO Blocks are a lightweight plastic interlocking style building or creating block. You can find these building blocks in all different size sets, so if they’re something your child loves to create with you can have quite a large collection. The pieces come in different shapes and sizes and connect together through friction, so they stay together well but are easily moveable to make your creation just right. These blocks are also great to take on the go because there’s a downloadable app with building instructions so you can make your creations anywhere.

One of the reasons I’m a huge fan of building style blocks for kids is that it’s a fun way for them to practice their fine motor skills and the IO Blocks and Power Clix are no exception.

The other blocks by Guidecraft I’ll be discussing are the Power Clix blocks. These are also lightweight plastic but they attach together by magnets. Each box comes with their own unique shapes, so when you add to your collection you’re getting even more building and creating possibilities.

The Power Clix blocks are also a fun learning tool. Just like the IO Blocks, they too are great for developing fine motor skills and the creations you make are also 2D or 3D, so kids can learn all about shapes while they’re having fun.
Key features and specifications

IO Blocks

  • Lightweight plastic
  • Easy to hold in small hands
  • Connects easily
  • Colourful
  • Large selection of shapes
  • Great for fine motor skills
  • Encourages creativity
  • Downloadable app for building instructions
  • Great for on the go

Power Clix

  • Perfect size for small hands
  • Colourful
  • Magnet style connecting
  • Can be used interchangeably with other Powerclix sets
  • Great for fine motor skills
  • Encourages creativity
  • Teaches 2D and 3D shapes

Testing them out

IMG_1301-Optimized.JPG My youngest son was pretty excited to start building when he opened the Guidecraft boxes. He actually opened up the IO Blocks first and just started creating. I’ve always been so envious of his creativity, it’s actually an inside joke between us about moms lack in building skills, but I do try.

Inside the IO Blocks box you won’t find an instruction booklet, but you will find a cardboard square called the IO Blocks Tracker, and let me tell you it’s pretty cool. Start by downloading the IO Blocks app on the app store or google play. From here you’ll see 4 options to choose from, animals, vehicles, robots and structures. We chose animals, and then the gator option. You’ll then be able to press a play button and the structure will come apart and then get put back together again on the screen. You can re-watch the video as many times as needed to finish your build. I really like how clear the videos are and that they are in colour too.

Next up we unpacked three different Power Clix sets and before you know it my son had made this crazy creation. It just goes to show you how much fun you can have with no instructions needed.

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The magnetic field on these blocks is quite strong, and I was impressed that they held up well, even when stacking them to make a tower like structure. The colour of them made them more inviting to play with, and my son loved that some of them were double sided in colour so you could choose which color you liked best for your design.

The instruction booklets are also really colourful which makes it easy to see which piece you need to complete the design you’re building. I love that each instruction page also had a picture of each of the pieces needed to complete the design, as well as how many of each piece to complete it. On top of that there’s a small animated picture of what the design is, which helps give an extra visual to help kids get to the finished product.

Check out my short video on IO Blocks and Power Clix Blocks:

Final thoughts

As a parent I thought Guidecrafts building sets are a great alternative to some of the other typical building products available out there. There’s so many sets to choose from and I think they’re perfect for the younger builder to get started. The Power Clix blocks are especially great because of the magnets. Smaller hands don’t have to worry about pushing strength to get the pieces together or trying to get blocks to click into place. I also love that they’re so colourful and gender neutral so all kids will enjoy them.

As a kid, my son loved the creativity that he could have with the sets. As you saw in the picture above he had created a little town out of the Power Clix with no trouble at all. I also had my friends 6 year old over as well, and he had so much fun he wanted to take his creation home with him. He’s also been asking to come back over every day since so he can play with “those blocks” again.

A look at the IO App

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You can see a whole variety of Guidecraft blocks and sets for all ages at bestbuy.ca.