Saturday, November 6, 2010

Checking Our List #6: CitiBlocs Wooden Building Set {Review & Giveaway}

{This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations, Lloyd Family!}

It's amazing how quickly kids grow up, isn't it? It seems like yesterday I was out shopping for tiny onesies, burp cloths and swaddling blankets and today... well, let's just say that all of those things have since gone into a garage sale. Along with everything else that my girls have outgrown, outlasted or just plain got too old for.

Some items were easier to get rid of than others, but the ones that probably bothered me the most were the things that were hardly used. That didn't happen much with clothes (seeing as I have two girls so usually at least one of them wore it), but some of the toys had barely made it out of their boxes, if at all. It just seems like they were far too age-specific, items that were aimed just at infants or toddlers and couldn't be adapted for any older.

In the future I'd like to focus on just the opposite and try to only own toys that are the perfect thing to grow right along with children. Toys such as CitiBlocs. For all ages and skill levels, these innovative, award-winning, educational blocks are the kind of toy that can entertain toddlers to teenagers (and adults)... just add imagination.

A completely open-ended toy, we were first introduced to CitiBlocs last March... and I'm not sure if Big Sister E or I had more fun playing and constructing with them for that review. In the time since then, however, our all-natural, simple wood blocks have provided plenty of building, inventing, creative, successful play times.

Plus, as well as selling in packages containing a variety of the number of blocks (anywhere from 50 up to 1,000), CitiBlocs also now come in really great colors to enhance the fun: Hot or Cool. The Hot colors consist of red, orange, yellow, pink and natural wood and the Cool set is made up of blue, green, turquoise, dark green and natural. What great combinations!

Prior to these two color sets being released though, CitiBlocs first offered boxes that contained either red and blue or turquoise and green. And when Big Sister E and Little Sister B saw the possibility of creating with the same uniquely proportioned, easily stackable toy that they already enjoyed but now in the fun red and blue set, they couldn't wait to get their hands on them.

Still precisely cut from Grade A Radiata Pine from certified renewable forests in New Zealand and still with each piece exactly the same shape and size as the next, these vibrantly colored blocks grab your attention and don't let go. As the hues are made from certified safe non-toxic, water-based stains, there is never any issue of harmful paint or chemicals in those little hands.

And boy, do these blocks stay there. Just laying out the 4.5" x 1" x .25" blocks immediately inspires Big Sister E to build towers and houses and cars and boats and Little Sister B to build... piles. But the best part is that both of them love it. No matter if they work on their constructions alone, together or with my help (we have to try some of the neat design ideas in the included Building Guide, right?) there is no pressure or wrong way to do things.

Which means the results can sometimes bring really big smiles.

CitiBlocs truly are a simple concept that can inspire the construction of pretty much anything. I enjoy seeing the gears turning in my kids' minds and the logical thinking, problem solving and physics that they're using when they study each piece before stacking it on top.

Without needing any glue, snaps, connectors or magnets, all that is required to have a great time with CitiBlocs is a flat surface. From there, children of all ages can gain the feelings of accomplishment, discovery and confidence that comes from building with something that stacks up so easily. Because each time you open the box will be a new experience, there's never a wrong way to play... just more imaginative learning about gravity and balance.

An ideal educational toy for encouraging the strengths and interests of any child (whether individually or through group play), CitiBlocs are somehow modern while being inherently classic. Available at affordable prices right on their website, at retailers across the United States (and distributed internationally), this holiday season CitiBlocs would be a wonderful gift under the tree... and wouldn't require a single battery or minute of blinking lights or beeping sounds.

Thanks to the generosity of CitiBlocs, one person will have one great gift taken care of for the holidays in a colorful way, because...

One lucky person will win a CitiBlocs 100-Piece Wooden Building Set in their choice of Hot or Cool colors! ARV $22.99!

To enter to win: Visit CitiBlocs and tell me the name of a retailer near you that carries these great toys (hint: look under the Products tab).

Extra Entries (available after the mandatory entry above is completed; please leave a separate comment for each entry in order for them to be counted).

1 Extra Entry if you head over to A Mom's Balancing Act and enter to win a CitiBlocs 100-pc Wooden Building Set in Hot or Cool colors there, too!
1 Extra Entry (per method) if you follow CitiBlocs on Twitter and/or join their group on Facebook.
1 Extra Entry (per giveaway entered) - Enter any (or all) of the Holiday Gift Guide giveaways (Checking Our List giveaways ONLY) running on Thanks, Mail Carrier for the duration of this giveaway.
1 Extra Entry if you follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway by copying and pasting the tweet below and leaving me the link. Tweet daily for an extra entry every day!

Checking Our List 6: WIN a CitiBlocs 100-pc Wooden Building Set in HOT or COOL colors! #thxmailcarrier #win #giveaway

2 Extra Entries (per follow method) if you follow me with Google Friend Connect, subscribe to my RSS feed, subscribe to Thanks, Mail Carrier by email or become a fan on Facebook.
3 Extra Entries if you put my cute button up on your blog. Please leave an address where it can be found.
3 Extra Entries if you have our Checking Our List {Holiday Gift Guide 2010} button up on your blog. Please leave an address where it can be found.
3 Extra Entries if you blog about this giveaway linking back to Thanks, Mail Carrier and CitiBlocs. Please leave an address where it can be found.

Giveaway will end on November 26th at 11:59pm CST. Do me the favor of leaving an email address or making absolutely sure it is visible in your profile, I have to have a way to contact the winner. The winner will be chosen by and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to contact me or respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

A big thank you to CitiBlocs for providing CitiBlocs for me to review and a 100-piece Hot or Cool Wooden Building Set for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.