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STEM Toys

Toddler STEM Toy, Grippies®, Wins Multiple Industry Awards

Guidecraft Grippies Wins Industry Awards

 

Guidecraft is proud to announce that its first STEM toy for toddlers, Grippies® Builders, has received five awards from four distinguished toy review organizations. Grippies® Builders is uniquely designed for toddlers’ hands to easily grasp to introduce them to the basic concepts of magnetism, engineering and geometry at a very early age.

  • The Tillywig Brain Child Award is awarded to products that energize the mind while seamlessly blending fun and learning.
  • The National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval is awarded to the finest products and services being marketed to the parent/child audience.
  • The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award is awarded to outstanding new products that enhance the live of children.
  • The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio SNAP Award, which stands for Special Needs Adaptable Product, is awarded to products that can be used by or easily adapted for children with special needs.
  • The Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award is given to excellent products that are designed to entertain and help children develop universally ethical attitudes, and rigorous standards and skills.

Here is what the toy experts had to say about Grippies Builders:

Tillywig Team Review of Grippies Builders:Surprise, amusement, amazement, and joy are just some of the feelings parents can count on seeing their young ones display while exploring the pleasures of Grippies Builders set. This STEM building toy system for toddlers combines near endless replay value with rich and varied educational benefits. The exceptionally high quality magnetic rod and ball configuration makes building a wild variety of structures an almost magical way to play and learn. Youngsters take obvious pleasure in handling the rods, which are covered with a rubbery coating featuring a variety of colors and textures – bumps, grooves, lines and shapes that offer up a visual and tactile feast. Kids can’t seem to get enough of playing with this 30 piece set, and the benefits – the development of sensory perception, a blossoming sense of basic engineering principles, and loads of fun – are as substantive as they are pleasurable.”

National Parenting Center: “Guidecraft’s Grippies Builders were an instant hit before they even got out of the packaging. Kids couldn’t wait to get their hands on these. For good reason, they feel great to hold. Grippies Builders has both magnetic balls and tubular shapes that can all stick together. The spheres are soft, so they’re easier to palm and they cause less damage if thrown. The tubular magnet pieces are covered in colorful, soft grips. The development of gross motor skills at this age is so important and Grippies are ideal for this. Children need to use bigger movements to lift the relatively heavy magnets and smaller movements to connect the magnets together in ways that will stay. Because Grippies feel good in the hand, kids may like to squeeze them which is great for strengthening their grasp. While playing with the toy, they’re also learning about three-dimensional building. What’s more, parents saw this as a high quality, durable product after seeing how well the sturdy pieces held up to repeated toddler abuse.

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio (Gold Seal Award): “Even the younger builder can explore magnetic attraction with this set of pastel colored sensory Grippies and magnetic balls. The Grippies come in two lengths, four colors, and interesting textures. Combined with the big white magnetic balls, these are an open-ended building material for older toddlers and young preschoolers. A 20-piece set is also available ($32.99) Marked 18 months and up. We think this will continue to be used by preschoolers in more complex ways.

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio (SNAP Award): “The soft spongy covering on the rods make this an easier-to-grasp toy. Grippie Games: Use these for building fun or sort the pieces by size and sort then again by color. Sort them by textures looking at them and then with eyes closed. How long a train of blue can you make? How about orange? Play a game make patterns: You start with blue, green, blue, green, blue… what comes next? Make other patterns with two colors and then gradually do three color patterns.”

Parents’ Choice: “The brightly colored 20 piece Grippies Builders set is sized just right for toddlers ready to build. The set’s magnetic attraction was universal. The chunky pieces encourage tactile exploration of textures, shapes and colors. Experimenting with the magnetic rods and balls lead to interesting discussions and constructions – from boxes to boats to balloon animals. Well, that’s what they looked like to us.”

We are extremely proud of Grippies® Builders and all of the awards they are starting to receive. Look for extensions of our successful Grippies® Toddler STEM toy system in 2017!

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IO Blocks Minis Make the Perfect Summer Travel Toy!

IO Minis BannerJust in time for summertime traveling fun, IO Blocks Minis have arrived! Each set comes in a handy portable canister, making it even easier for young builders to take their favorite new building blocks with them while on the go.

IO Blocks Minis are a quarter-sized miniature version of their recent forerunner and original STEM toy in the IO Blocks building system which, within a few months of release, received the National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval, The Tillywig Brain Child and Parents’ Choice Awards and became a Finalist for the 2016 TIA Toy of The Year. The same smooth twelve shapes and friction-fit interlocking system are utilized, but this time the colors are switched up and the IO Blocks Minis are packaged in a compact yet sturdy  canister making them the perfect summer travel toy. The Minis sets range from a classroom-sized set with 900 pieces to a handy 75 piece set with an appealing price tag of $9.99. Suggested age is 5+.

IO Blocks fans will also be glad to know that this month we debuted IO Blocks Vehicles; 3 different vehicle building sets which not only come with original IO Blocks building pieces but now include fins, wings, cabs, bumpers, cabins, wheels and more, along with special Hero Figures to pilot all of a little builder’s creations. Choose Race Cars or Planes and Boats or the comprehensive IO Blocks Vehicles set right here on the IO Blocks page.

Each and every set in the IO Blocks system provides the same stimulating, smart play for kids of all ages. They all work together seamlessly enticing young builders to explore open-ended engineering concepts in a fun, care-free way.

All IO Blocks system sets (of any type) includes an enclosed tracker pad which, when used together with our free IO Blocks app, provide an interactive building guide with dozens of themed builds for IO Blocks, IO Blocks Minis and IO Blocks Vehicles. The IO Blocks app may be downloaded for free on Google Play and Apples App Store and add to the portability of the entire IO Blocks system of toys.

Happy Summer from the entire Guidecraft staff!

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Happiness is…an IO Blocks building party

IO Blocks Parties

During the month of May, 100 families and teachers all over the US threw building parties with children and students eager to discover a new open-ended construction toy. We sent each of them a tub of IO Blocks along with a handful of building cards and tracker pads to use with our free IO Blocks interactive building app. We couldn’t have hoped for a better response. Here is what just a few of them said about IO Blocks.

“I could see these used in a classroom, a makerspace, a daycare, and at home. Teachers could use them for puzzles, engineering, and teaching concepts like symmetry.” – Mrs. Fletcher, Franklin Elementary

“I also loved that we used the blocks for more than just building. We did color sorting with my youngest and then built towers of each individual color. For my oldest I used them as manipulatives so she could see division in action. We have really enjoyed them the last few weeks.” – Girlsinwhitedressesblog.com

“My kids have really liked them, and while I know they are still a novelty because they are so new, my kids have been excited to show their friends when they come over, and they usually play at least an hour with them.” – Kirsten

“IO Blocks have an app (IO Blocks), which will walk you through the steps to create …You select a project and train your phone’s camera on a printed sheet. The image will pop on it for you to manipulate through the steps. I’ve never seen anything like it! Children see the blocks as raw pieces of fun just waiting for them to interpret.” – Nona

“We ended up with a neat zoo full of colorful animals! But that’s just the beginning of what kids can create with IO Blocks — they can also make vehicles, robots, and so much more.” – Susan

FYI- We just updated the app this month to improve functionality and to include builds for IO Blocks extension sets coming in June. Check out the newest version on iTunes.

A big thank you to our friends at Tryazon for setting up so many parties to help us introduce IO Blocks to the world!

 

 

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