When it comes to playing with toys, I love to watch my kids become engrossed with ones that they truly enjoy. Just seeing the wonder and imagination on their face as they figure out how to use them in a multitude of ways and how they are inspired by the whole exploration process... although it also makes me pause sometimes and wonder, "Who are these kids and where did my babies go?"
One company that has never disappointed us when it comes to everything from a simple wooden toy to a complex building toy is Guidecraft. I'm not sure how they have made it so that every dramatic play item or every manipulative toy has been an instant favorite, but they have.
So, as soon as I opened the Nesting Sort & Stack Cubes and the Nesting Sort & Stack Cylinders from Guidecraft, I had no doubt that they would be joining the ranks of our other beloved toys.
Due to the size of the smallest pieces, both the Cubes and the Cylinders are recommended for ages three and up. However, as I pulled each colorful piece out of the boxes, I knew that Little Sister B, at age two, would love sorting and stacking each and every one.
And, wouldn't you know it? I was right.
Except even though when I looked at the graduated sizes and slight variation in colors and immediately wanted to nest them into one another, she looked at them and saw the shapes and how each one had an indented spot in the wooden base. So what did that mean? It meant that each one needed to be taken out and placed back in.
Over and over and over again.
As each cube came off and each cube went on, I could easily see her shape-recognition skills improving. Wherein she started by having to try one cube in multiple places before getting it right, she was soon able to take them out and put them in much easier and without trouble.
We talked about the colors, how some were bigger than others, what made them different or the same, and more and she was perfectly content to continue the routine.
Until Big Sister E stepped in and looked at the cubes and cylinders with a completely different perspective.
The topic of conversation immediately changed to patterns and what that meant as well as how, when nested together, both girls thought the stacks resembled little cakes. Okay.
Apparently licking the cake was in order by Little Sister B, making me a little more thankful for the safe, non-toxic paints that Guidecraft uses. All the while, Big Sister E was blowing out the candle atop hers.
As soon as the first "tower of cake" was built, the stacking couldn't be stopped. We built and we built and we built, only pausing to turn the cubes and cylinders back into short, nested cakes... before returning to the tower cake forms. I have to admit that I didn't realize that Little Sister B possessed the fine-motor skills to get hers as tall as she did - but she proved me wrong with her determination and practice!
Guidecraft has managed to take something classic and simple like nesting blocks and use color, size and shape to make their Cubes and Cylinders into something unique and much more entertaining. Each time that we have taken these out (they have actually hardly been put away), my kids' imaginations have turned them into something new, whether as individual toys or by combining them together or even as including them in with other toys that we own.
Plus, as I know that they are safe and made of only the highest quality, these are both items that could be given as gifts for either boys or girls and last for years to come. Available directly from Guidecraft for $20 each (however, both the Cubes and the Cylinders can be found on Amazon for under $14) the Nesting Sort & Stack Cubes and the Nesting Sort & Stack Cylinders are a classic toy with a modern, fun twist.
And, thanks to the generosity of Guidecraft, one person will get to enjoy these great items as well, because...
One lucky person will win Nesting Sort & Stack Cubes and Nesting Sort & Stack Cylinders from Guidecraft!
To enter to win: Visit Guidecraft and tell me another of their amazing products that you love.
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 (per method) if you follow Guidecraft on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed of the Guidecraft blog and/or become their Friend on Facebook.
1 Extra Entry (per giveaway entered) - Enter any (or all) of the giveaways 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!
#WIN Guidecraft's Nesting Stack & Sort Cubes and Cylinders (ARV $40) - great wooden toys! http://bit.ly/gwQQNk #thxmailcarrier #giveaway
2 Extra Entries (per follow method) if you follow me publicly 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 blog about this giveaway linking back to Thanks, Mail Carrier and Guidecraft. Please leave an address where it can be found.
Giveaway will end on March 11th 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 random.org 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 Guidecraft for providing a Nesting Sort & Stack Cubes and a Nesting Sort & Stack Cylinders for me to review as part of my participation as a Guidecraft Mom and for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.