The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
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Blocks Rock! Review by Melissa BontadelliBlocks Rock LLC
733 S. West Street
Indianapolis IN 46225
Blocks Rock! is a STEM game created by Blocks Rocks LLC. The game contains a set of different colored and shaped blocks, a timer, and two sets of cards. The blocks, made of wood, are very sturdy. The timer is a traditional-looking bell timer. There are two sets of cards included. One set is large, colorful preschool STEM cards that help develop hand-eye coordination while learning shapes and colors. The other cards are smaller, the size of regular playing cards, and used for the Blocks Rock! challenges. All the items come in a vinyl carrying case with instructions on the bottom on how to organize the items. The Deluxe Set sells for $69.99.
For preschool-age children, they use the preschool STEM cards and recreate the object on the cards out of blocks. I started my first-grade student this way. I gave him the blocks while I would work with my other student and he would work through the cards and familiarized himself with the blocks. He enjoyed just building and having an active activity to do while waiting.
The challenges are made for two players. The cards are divided in half with the same picture on each half facing toward each player. Players divide the blocks evenly between the two players and place the bell between them. The players build the structure on the card and the first player to complete it rings the bell. The player who builds the structure correctly first wins and collects the card. The cards have points on them and at the end of the deck, the players add up the points on their cards and the highest total wins the game. There are different levels to the card to add complexity. There is also a 3D app available for free with more challenges.
My students played this game together during their free time. They enjoyed the competition of the race to build. The packaging of the set makes it easy for them to pull out on their own and put away. It is compact enough that it stores away easily on a shelf. I was pleased to have a game like this available to them that worked on the development of STEM skills.
The challenge in a homeschool environment with this game is that there are disparities in skills and abilities between siblings. My older student won the game every time, and while there is a lesson in that for the younger one, it does lessen the fun of the game part for him. We did have neighborhood children play it as well where skills were more evenly matched.
I would recommend this product. It is well constructed and durable. I could see this being great for a preschool child and teaching shapes and colors. The product would grow with that same child as they develop and could do challenges, so it will last longer than traditional preschool STEM toys. Both of my students are elementary age and they both enjoyed the game, so it covers a very wide range of ages.
Product review by Melissa Bontadelli, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2020