- What: Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks
- When: 3 to 6 years
- Why: Fun, educational, affordable
- Where: Amazon
Do you need another non-screen activity for your child? If you want a gift you can feel good about, that kids will enjoy, look no further than a solid set of pattern blocks, like these Melissa & Doug Magnetic Pattern Blocks.
I got a set of pattern blocks almost six years ago, when my son started having quiet time in lieu of nap time. He needed some calm activities to keep him entertained on his own that wouldn’t wake up any siblings sleeping. Along with the letter boards, I got him this set of Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards.
Our set came with 120 shaped pieces in six different colors. Each color corresponds to a specific shape, like a triangle, square, or diamond. The set also included five double sided boards, with pattern guides printed on them. Much like tangram puzzles, kids find the correct block, and match them to the pattern to create shapes like a rabbit, boat, starburst, and more.
Melissa & Doug also have a newer magnetic version. This version includes six double-sided cards that stick to the magnetic board, all with a convenient clear case. That makes this set even better, as it can pack into bags and travel from place to place with kids, whether for quick trips in the car or longer hauls. The shaped magnetic pieces stick to the board, so kids can play with them upright or flat on a surface, and almost any angle in between.
These blocks work great for young learners, who won’t even realize they are educational. It makes great practice for handling small pieces, solving basic puzzles, increasing hand eye coordination, and even recognizing colors. Many years later, my kids still want to play with this toy. When I got out a set for my five year old during remote learning in the spring, my nine year old wanted to use them so much he ended up getting a selection of his own to use. They also enjoy using them without the included pattern boards to construct even more fun and fantastic creations. Best of all, I feel great about this activity no matter their age.
If you want an educational, non-electronic gift that keeps on giving, you can’t go wrong with a pattern block set.