CitiBlocs for creative play

I love open-ended toys with limitless possibilities to stretch their imagination, for pretend play, and even to learn math concepts like counting, sorting or patterning effortlessly.

A mumtrepreneur friend who runs the local online shop My First Games brought over a set of CitiBlocs in cool colours, and we’ve been having good fun with it.

CitiBlocs 200 pieces ($89.90)

It comes with a little manual with some suggestions of things to build and the required number of blocks. #5 flipped through it and asked Kate what she wanted him to build for her. “House!” she exclaimed.

House under contruction

#5 picked up some blocks, looked at the manual, then realised that it doesn’t have step-by-step instructions like his Lego sets.

He looked at me, looked at his little sister and said, “Don’t worry ok, gor gor will figure out how to build for you.”

Kate’s tiny house

Within minutes, he finished constructing an adorable little house for Kate.

That was fast!

I was still studying the diagram and didn’t know where to begin. Guess #5 doesn’t need any help from his clueless mum when it comes to construction toys.

With the remaining number of pieces, he did some quick math, and figured that he had enough blocks to build this robot-looking model.

He got stuck after building the base, thought a little while, then beamed. “OH! I know.”

Over the past few years, I have discovered that he is very strong in his spatial abilities so looking at a picture and replicating it is not too difficult for him.

Robot man

He was done for the day, and the little ones happily took over. It was interesting to watch how they started by lining them up in a row, and slowly progressing to stacking them up horizontally.

Over time, I prompted them on other simple ways they could build with the blocks.

Free play

Another day, I took the box out for Kate to play with and #5 came over and suggested we have a competition.

We divided the blocks into half, and the category was “Vehicle”.

#5’s ship with mast

We were not allowed to look at each other’s work, and halfway through, I was stuck and wondering how to fashion the sides of the ship to make it curve upwards.

Mummy’s ship

#5 took some of my blocks, aligned them properly to give the sides a tilt and taught me the physics behind it.

See, if you put it like that, it will tilt up. If you want a greater tilt, you add more blocks here. But if it becomes too heavy, you need to…

Ok, I can’t even remember everything else he said. Mummy has absolutely no aptitude nor interest in engineering and construction. But I still get involved to support his interest and learning…

Making a tilt

He appointed his 5-year old cousin as judge, and no surprises who emerged as winner.

Living room

The next category was “Furniture”. #5 had great plans to make a towering chair. However, he built it too thin and too high that it collapsed.

So the score was 1-1.

Till next time!

Save tip: Not to be missed promotion going on now! 30% off all CitiBlocs from My First Games. Enter code CTBTHIRTY at checkout. While stocks lasts.

Sane tip: Kids may not naturally know how to create with blocks. Kate is quite clueless where to begin and prefers to ask #5 to build something for her. I encourage her to fiddle with it and gradually she is learning more ways of stacking them. Slowly she will improve on her fine motor skills and creativity and be able to work on it herself!

~ – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

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