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People Blocks 31 Piece Set (Classic Colors) Review by Deanna JasperPeople Toy Company
404 5th Ave. 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10018
My children have all been fascinated by magnets and magnetic toys, but they can pose a serious danger if swallowed, so I don’t often let my little ones play with them. That’s why I was intrigued by a set of magnetic blocks from the People Toy Company designed for children eighteen months and older.
The People Blocks 31 Piece Set – Classic Colors ($59.99) contains a variety of plastic blocks that allow for creative building, as well as a play mat featuring pictures of various block creations on one side and a road print on the other. Many of the blocks are rather unusual shapes that make for interesting possibilities. There are two with wheels for building vehicles and two with smiling faces to encourage the creation of people or animals. Magnetic sides are marked with a printed design so children can easily see which parts attract.
My toddler (twenty months) loved finally having a magnetic toy with which he was allowed to play. The bright colors definitely caught his eye and drew him in. As far as size, they were small enough for him to hold easily yet large enough not to fit into his mouth. He seemed to prefer the cubes over the more unique shapes, probably because he was mostly interested in building towers or rows. My three-year-old was far more creative. I left him alone with the blocks one morning while everyone else was occupied and enjoyed listening to him chattering to himself as he played. He built trains, animals, and a playground and had fun immersing himself in the little world he had created.
My three older kids (ages five through nine) all wanted turns with the People Blocks as well, but none of them seemed to stick around more than ten minutes at a time. I think with a larger set they might have spent more time, but as it was, their ideas exceeded what could be constructed from the blocks in this set. Of course, multiple sets can be combined. (There is also a seventeen-piece zoo animals set that is compatible.) When I asked them what they thought of the blocks, my nine-year-old remarked, “They’re pretty fun, but I’d like it if they were magnetic on every side. I was trying to build this car, and I was turning the block every way, and I couldn’t get it to stick the way I wanted.” Both he and my seven-year-old expressed a desire for more blocks with faces.
The People Company describes the way children of various ages (specifically, eighteen months through four years) will typically play with the blocks. I think that age range is right on target. I found People Blocks to be a wonderful activity to pull out to entertain toddlers or preschoolers while Mom nurses the baby or works with older students. This set was the perfect size for such a use—enough pieces to allow for creativity but not so many that they make a huge mess all over the room while the children play by themselves. They’re unlike any other building sets we’ve played with, and they’ll definitely get a lot of use when I need a quick and easy activity to occupy my little ones.
—Product review by Deanna Jasper, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2017