SPORTOS Build-a-Sport BlocksSpring 2012 Toys
I'll admit my skepticism to opening the Sportos blocks. I couldn't imagine that my children would enjoy the seemingly simple activity of building images of stick figures engaged in different sporting events -I was proved wrong.
First, we flipped the octagonal box upside down on the table, revealing 5 sets of blocks, with each set aligned to corresponding images on a coated cardboard disc. We spread the discs out on the table, and pulled a card out of the pile. Each card included the name of a sport (such as "diving", "cycling" or "equestrian"), an image of what the final block configuration would look like, and icons indicating which of the blocks would be used. Both my 4- and 7-year-old were immediately interested, and started sorting the cards to find a sport they recognized and enjoyed doing. They had to demonstrate discipline in reviewing the different blocks, making sure they were using the long blue rectangular block, instead of the short blue one, for example. Both boys could build the shape in just a few minutes, gaining an incredible sense of accomplishment. To my surprise, both boys did 2 or 3 different cards, and both have asked to get the blocks down again. My 7-year-old even enjoyed creating his own images with the blocks, ("This is me diving off the board at swim class"), once he had learned some of the basics.
Though the blocks feel lovely in your hands and are well made, the cardboard box is not as sturdy, and blocks could easily be tipped or the box damaged because the lid doesn't really fit onto the box. Still, the instructions are well done, and the activity provides valuable visual skill in sorting, compiling and organizing the images. Just in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics.