Last week, I was very excited to find out we’d become Bigjigs Toys Play Patrol finalists! We received this Top Secret delivery, and instructions to have fun reviewing the Bigjigs Safari Animal Building Blocks!

When I opened the blocks, I was happy to find there was a drawstring bag included to keep the bricks together when not in use! This is definitely a good call! The Safari Building Blocks set retails at £11.99, it contains 32 blocks and is suitable for children age 1 and over.

When we first opened them up, I tried to show Syd (Who is 22 Months old) how to make each animal. She watched me build them all, and had great fun repeating their names after me. The Lion seems to be her favourite, and the bear confuses her no end, as it had a flower on his body. She said several times… “Bear… Fwower… Uh oh Bear”!

Syd spent ages picking each piece up and examining them. She said “Twee” when she picked up all of the pieces with trees and bushes painted onto them. She was also fascinated by the round pieces, and kept saying “Cirsle” (Circle to the rest of us) as she flipped them over in her hands.

I then began lining up all of the domino shaped blocks and made a “Domino Rally” type layout. Syd watched me build and knock it down several times, before she joined in and added a few pieces herself. (Seen above)! I managed to make a little video of our Domino Rally shenanigans. I’ve included it below, complete with out takes!

I got the blocks out again the next day, this time with Sam. (Sam is 34 Months old and has recently been diagnosed with Autism). Sam is a huge fan of shapes and animals, so I was excited to see what he’d make of the set. Sam immediately picked up and examined a few of the blocks. He seemed fascinated by the body of the Panda, in particular. He was holding it up and looking down at all the sides in turn.

When he eventually gave me the block back, I had a closer look for myself, and realised this piece wasn’t a perfect cuboid! This wasn’t an imperfection, as the set has a bit of a “Hand Made” feel about it, and the pieces have been sanded and painted, so you’re bound to get slight variations in size and shape. (The photo below-right shows you some of the pieces stood side by side, and you can see what I mean – they aren’t all exactly the same size). This does not impair the quality of the set though – if anything, it makes it more endearing!

Speaking of quality, all of the pieces are sanded to perfection – there is not a hint of a splinter or a jagged edge anywhere. The wood is high quality, solid and contains no imperfections. The paint quality is great too – each character – and its’ “body” are easily distinguishable.

These pieces are ideal for smaller (and slightly bigger) hands to hold. I loved watching Syd explore and arrange the animals – The Hippo-Lion Hybrid pictured above was one of her creations! You can see the concentration in her face as she tries to stack the blocks up – they’ll be a great tool for improving her hand-eye co-ordination and her sense of balance.

We’ve used the Bigjigs wooden blocks to practice colours, shapes and hand-eye co-ordination as well. They have also been great for encouraging Sam to engage with others, and for using as a tool within his speech therapy. (“Sam, can you pass me a green block,” and “Sam, can you say Green”? Have been my most used sentences today)!

I am already looking forward to the stories I can tell them using the
blocks, not to mention the gigantic towers we’ll try to build over the
coming months, and helping Syd to learn her colours with them, too.

If I had to rate the blocks out of 5, I’d definitely give them 5. For £11.99, they are amazing value for money. There are so many ways to play with the blocks, I am confident they will be a much loved and well used toy in our house. They feel like they’ll last for years, as well.

If you like the look of the Safari Blocks, why not follow Bigjigs on Twitter or Facebook?

This is not a sponsored post. We were sent the Bigjigs Wooden Safari blocks for the purpose of this #PlayPatrol review, but all words and opinions are my own.

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