Out of the box ways to extend block play?
December 3, 2017 3:05 PM   Subscribe

My 13-month-old is obsessed with a set of small, square blocks he has. I’m looking for creative ways to extend his play with these.

The blocks came with this activity cube, and he has quite a lot of them. I’ve set him up with a bin of these in between the cube and his little people farm along one wall. So he has a bunch of activities to choose from: one side of the cube is a sort of plinko-like wall, one lets you stack the blocks in columns and release them with a button, one resembles a shape sorter with openings to put them in and a little door to open and remove them, and one has two little slots where you can place and remove. Additionally on the farm, there is a silo he drops them down and they fall out the bottom, a window you can push them through to come out the other side, gates to open (which make animal sounds) to put them into an animal stall and take out, and then his favourite part, a hay bale launcher intended for you to put a hale bale onto and then flip up the lever and it slides onto a ramp and tumbles down to the animals below. The first time he put a block on there and it fit perfectly, and he realized what he could do, he literally almost fell down he was so excited and he spent half an hour merrily flinging blocks into the barn.

He is very into cause-and-effect right now, and putting things in and taking them out. He is spending a long time doing these activities mentioned above with the blocks. What else can I give him to do with these? Can I build something out of cardboard boxes maybe where there’s ramps or something he can tumble them down? Or...what? Or is there some kind a fabulous block toy that I just don’t know about? I’d love to give him some fresh activities. I want to be able to put him in his place area and have him just feel so happy to sit with his vat of blocks and figure things out.
posted by ficbot to Grab Bag (2 answers total)
Best answer: It’s been so long since my kids were that age, I might be off base about what’s fun for a 13-month-old, but possibly a balancing scale?

I think it would be fun to have a dump truck to drive the blocks around in and periodically dump them all out.
posted by lakeroon at 5:34 PM on December 3, 2017

Would they fit through the triangle mailing tubes they have at the post office or office supply store? You could cut one down to different lengths, and since the sides are flat you could lean or attach them on something or place it on some kind of fulcrum.

For inspiration I'd also look at YouTube videos of Rube Goldberg machines made by or for young kids.

Also I would like to babysit. (Don't let me babysit.)
posted by Room 641-A at 6:27 PM on December 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

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