SMARCKS, the talking building blocks to see if I wanted to try them out in exchange for an honest review. I'm on board to review almost anything, but I was particularly interested in these because of Anna's special needs. She loves to play with blocks and anything that can enhance her ability to learn while she's playing is great!
There is so much to tell you about these blocks so I'll just take it step by step. They look a lot like the building blocks that you can find at your local toy store and can be used with those types of blocks. But there's something very special about Smarcks blocks that you won't find anywhere else! It's really genius, actually.
Starting with the basic set of SMARCKS you get 70 non-talking blocks in different sizes and colors, and your first talking smart block in blue. You can tell it's a smart block because it has a "face" on it and underneath it has six small buttons. Here's where the genius part comes in...the non talking blocks (and the smart blocks) have shapes on the top of them. According to how the blocks are shaped is what determines which combination of those six buttons will be pressed when you stack them. So you can put the smart block on a block with just two prongs and it will say something and put it on another block with four prongs and it will say something else.You can purchase additional smart blocks in sets according to your child's age range and learning ability (details below). There are "puzzles" to solve with each set of smarcks that keep the play fun and entertaining. For instance, to play a nursery rhyme line by line, your child will need to figure out which series of blocks to stack the smart block on. There's a puzzle secrets page where you can find more about the puzzles. It doesn't end there though, there are hidden "ticklish spots" that can only be found by pressing the right combination with your fingers on the bottom. (cheat sheet here) When you press these, the blocks laugh.
Let me first tell you our experience with these and then I'll go into a little more detail about the smart block sets. The girls love them. I enjoy that they are for such a wide range of ages and that the challenges each new set of smart blocks presents keeps it fresh and new for older kids. This way, though you do buy a new three set of smart blocks, you can still use them with the original set and it makes this toy set last longer. How often do we buy a toy set and after a while the kids outgrow it and it goes to Goodwill or that garage sale? These blocks will be a fun set to play with for a LONG time! I appreciate that the face colors are different on each set of the smart blocks so you can keep up with which smart block is which.
I also love that they interact with non- SMARCKS blocks. The smart blocks won't play on non SMARCKS blocks, but you can still use them with the non-SMARCKS so that if you already have a set of those around, it just makes your block set bigger and your kid won't grow out of those so soon either. This is just a genius product and I'm SO GLAD I got the chance to review them. I know they will provide years of enjoyment for both girls, but most likely longer for Anna than Essie as her developmental age seems to progress so slowly. She loves the music ones best. She hasn't figured out the "puzzle" yet ( and I may need to use the cheat sheet to show her) but she really enjoys these.
Right now, you can only get SMARCKS online, so head on over to their web store and check out all the info! Be sure to check out the online specials going on right now too and save some money! The initial investment is more than "regular" blocks, but as I pointed out earlier, your child will not outgrow them so fast and they are well worth the investment.
Below is more info on the sets of smart blocks you can purchase separately to go with your initial set:
Next are pink, red, and purple ones for ages 2+ that teach nursery rhymes. You just stack them on the other blocks to hear the rhyme.
Pink does "Pat-a-Cake", "This Old Man", and "The ABC Song"
Purple does "Twinkle Twinkle Littler Star", "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Hickory Dickory Dock", and Purple does 7 different versions of Old MacDonald and even has real animal sounds! (& is Anna's favorite!)
Finally, for ages 5+ there are math blocks. There's a monkey math block, a subtraction block, and an addition block.
- Subtraction Block: Subtracts any two blocks it is placed on
- Addition Block: Adds any two blocks it is placed on
- Monkey Block: Teaches to add and subtract with the Monkey song
Again, I think these are fantastic and well worth the investment in a play and learn toy! Thanks Scott for giving me the opportunity to try SMARCKS and share the info with my readers!