My 18 month old toddler loves building things. Whether it’s having fun with some magnetic tiles, or playing with wooden blocks, it’s about the only thing that he can do by himself and give dad and mum a rest for 5 minutes!
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Another thing he enjoys playing with are Mega Bloks. These are great fun for babies and toddlers as it allows them to develop their creativity and learn about different shapes and how you can put them together. Here are 11 things you need to know about Mega Bloks if you’re interested in buying them for your infant or toddler:
- 1 What are the benefits of Mega Bloks?
- 2 What age are they for?
- 3 Why are Mega Bloks good for toddlers?
- 4 What are the sizes of Mega Bloks?
- 5 What kind of plastic is Mega Bloks made from?
- 6 Are Mega Bloks toxic?
- 7 Are they dishwasher safe?
- 8 What is the history of Mega Bloks?
- 9 Are Mega Bloks compatible with Lego?
- 10 Can you buy individual pieces?
- 11 What are some alternatives to Mega Bloks?
What are the benefits of Mega Bloks?
Children learn best through play. Although it might seem your toddler is assembling a jumbled mess of different colored blocks attached together, it is actually benefitting them in many ways. Here are the some advantages your child will gain by playing with Mega Bloks.
- Logical thinking and problem solving skills.
- Enhanced creativity .
- Better hand-eye coordination.
- Improved spatial-awareness.
- Better fine motor skills.
- Stronger language skills.
- Teaches babies and toddlers some early math and engineering skills.
- Color recognition.
What age are they for?
Mega Bloks is suitable for children aged between 1-2 years old. While they can start younger than this, on average they will get the most benefit when they’re a toddler. After the age of 2, or around 18 months, they might be ready for Lego Duplo.
Why are Mega Bloks good for toddlers?
Mega Bloks are a great way for your toddler to develop their creativity. They can build towers, castles and different shapes and let their imagination wonder.
With my toddler, I’ve found Mega Bloks one of the best activities which he can do by himself, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Any other activity and he needs parental guidance, or he just follows me around the flat asking for food!
Mega Bloks are great for toddlers to learn about patterns, as you can stack the blocks in alternate colors. They can also learn about different colors by sorting them out into piles of yellow, blue, red and any other colors in the set.
Mega Bloks: Let’s Get Learning
What are the sizes of Mega Bloks?
The blocks are generally quite big, which makes it easier for toddlers to pick up and attach to other blocks. They are in different sizes ranging from 1.25”-5” in length and 1.25”-2.5” in width. Most of the blocks are rectangular or cube shape, but there are a number of other shapes for your toddler to play with as well.
What kind of plastic is Mega Bloks made from?
The manufacturer of Mega Bloks is the company, Mattel. As of January 2020 they announced that their blocks will be made from bio-based resins. The company has the aim for their products to be 100% recyclable, recycled or bio-based plastic materials by 2030.
Are Mega Bloks toxic?
Although I can’t find any direct quote on the Mattel website about Mega Bloks, their consumer service department have said that all their products meet stringent safety standards, which meet and exceed US regulations. They state that their products are 100% non-toxic.
Are they dishwasher safe?
Mattel recommend that you clean Mega Bloks by hand with just warm water and a damp cloth. After you’ve washed them, you can just let them air-dry at room temperature or wipe them dry with another cloth. You shouldn’t put the blocks in a dishwasher or washing machine to clean them, and you shouldn’t dry them with a hair-dryer or put them in an oven or microwave.
What is the history of Mega Bloks?
Since 2014, Mega Bloks have been produced by the toy manufacturer, Mattel, but their history goes back to 1967. Back then Ritvik Holdings were formed, which was a family-owned Canadian toy distributor. In 1984 they introduced the Mega Brands toy range to the US and Canada. A few years later in 1988, they produced the Mega Bloks Big Building Bag, which became a leading toy product in North America. In 1990 they started to expand worldwide, distributing the Mega toys to 30 countries but it wasn’t until 1997 that they moved into Europe and Latin America.
In 2002, Ritvik went public and changed their name to Mega Bloks, before rebranding again to MEGA Brands in 2006.
Are Mega Bloks compatible with Lego?
Fortunately most Lego and Lego Duplo pieces are compatible with Mega Bloks. However, it’s not a perfect match. Mega Bloks are fine to go on a Lego Duplo baseboard or on top of Lego Duplo blocks. However, it doesn’t work the other way round, meaning Duplo blocks won’t fit on top of Mega Bloks.
Can you buy individual pieces?
Yes, you can order individual Mega Bloks pieces. You can order through the Mega Brands website here.
What are some alternatives to Mega Bloks?
If you’re not entirely convinced by Mega Bloks there are some alternatives. Here’s a few to consider.
I think I played with something like this when I was a boy. What’s great with these is that the pieces can connect at different angles so they’re very easy to put together. You could argue that your toddler can be more creative with a set like this, rather than Mega Bloks.
We have a set of magnetic tiles, which my toddler enjoys playing with. These are also very easy to put together like Bristle Blocks, although at the moment my son tends to stack them in a pile rather than creating interesting shapes! While tiles are great for toddlers, blocks might be better for older children once they’re at preschool. If you like the idea of buying some magnetic tiles, you can consider Playmags, Magna Tiles or Picasso Tiles.
These are also fun for toddlers, but they are little more fiddly to put together as they are no magnets or plastic shapes so the pieces can slot together easier. I’m sure they’re great for fine motor skills but they are probably best suited to children aged around 18 months, or even nearer 2 years old.
These aren’t quite as popular as some of the other options available to young children, but they can be great option for toddlers and babies aged 12 months+. They are soft, well-priced and the pieces are quite big. However, some parents are little concerned that the pieces can be a choking hazard, so it might make more sense to wait until your little one is around 18 months.