Mega Bloks are a family favorite, in our household; and their new Dora’s Garden Gazebo set has only reinforced that! I had the chance to review this fun toy with our 3- and 4-year-old granddaughters, over the weekend, and was so tickled to see the fun they had. The toy is designed for ages 3 and up and has the same “chunky” pieces we are used to with Mega Bloks, but it includes more than just blocks. The pieces can be used to build a “gazebo” and also includes a Dora the Explorer figure, a second skirt (yup! Dora can change clothes.), bluebird, fence, watering can, flower pot, flower, evergreen tree, umbrella, and picnic table. AND, with only 19 pieces, it is easy to gather them back into the box when play is finished.
The one possible drawback, if you can call it that, is that some of the pieces are small. If you have a toddler who enjoys putting things in their mouth, this could obviously pose a choking hazard, which is clearly stated on the packaging. I know most of you, like me, understand what “ages 3 and up” means, and exercise common sense and good judgment in your own personal circumstances. My not-quite-two grandson (He’s not really a “taste everything” sort of toddler), engaged in play with this toy several times over the weekend, with my close supervision, and had an absolute blast. Would I leave him alone with it? No! Did he benefit from playing with it while I kept a close watch? Absolutely! Now on to the good stuff! What did I love about it?
- The opportunities for creativity and imagination are endless. Each of the girls were rapt in their own imaginary scenarios as they played with the set. Dora had all sorts of adventures, I would never have dreamed of and literally provided an entire day of off-and-on fun and play for both our granddaughters. The “pillars” for the gazebo became walls or doors or gates. Dora took a trip with the bluebird and was also introduced to Barbie. The tree grew in the flower pot and then the flower grew in the flowerpot. The fence was most often used as a swinging gate, attached to only one block post so it was left free to swing on one end.
- Eye-hand coordination practice and refining of small motor skills as the individual pieces were fit together. These tasks are going to help train those little fingers and minds for bigger tasks in the future and help prepare them for other small motor tasks like handwriting.
- The colors! What child isn’t immediately drawn into a toy that is bursting with bright, inviting color? I even wanted to play with it!
- There is no right or wrong way to assemble it, so children are encouraged to come up with their own ideas and designs. Multiple design ideas are shown on the package, as well, to help inspire them.
Mega Bloks never disappoints our family, when it comes to creative learning toys that even younger children can enjoy and learn from! Really, their toys are good for such a wide age-range, depending on which toys you select. If you haven’t experienced their fine products, I hope you’ll visit their website and learn more about them. A new feature of that website is their Mega Bloks Family Club, where you will find special offers, contests, sweepstakes and promotions on lots of Mega Bloks toys; as well as an educational and informative blog, the opportunity to receive a free email newsletter AND a COUPON for $5 off $30 in Mega Bloks toys, just for signing up! It’s definitely worth your time to check it out!
One of you will be able to win a Dora’s Garden Gazebo for your own family in the giveaway made possible here at Busy-at-Home, by Mega Blocks and Child’s Play Communications.
Entrants must be 18 or older and a resident of the U.S. Mandatory entry must be completed before optional entries will be counted. Deadline to enter is midnight (CST) Sunday, May 15, 2011. Winner will be selected in a random drawing, using random.org. Several bloggers are working with MegaBloks and Child’s Play PR on this campaign. Only one prize per winner. If you win on multiple blogs, you will receive one prize and new winners will be selected, for the others.
In a comment below, share what is your family’s favorite Mega Bloks toy or set OR which one you would love to have. If you need ideas, you can visit the Mega Bloks website.
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In order to conduct this review and test the product, I received a Dora’s Garden Gazebo Play Set by Mega Bloks, through Child’s Play Communications. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.