Do You Want To Build A Castle?

Recently I was contacted by Lakeshore Learning to review one of their new products for 2015. When I get opportunities like this I try to pick items that will a) appeal to my kiddos (of course!) and b) meet a need we have in our classroom. The need that I saw in our room was a lack of variety in our Block Center. Sure we have hard wood blocks & people, vehicles and signs, but we only had that one type of block. And, honestly, I wasn't happy that it was a boy-dominated center - meaning my little girls hardly ever went there. Sure they got some building play in at our Lego Center and with our Pipe Builders (best purchase EVER!), but that's not the same as block play.

So when I saw the Castle Blocks, I fell in love:
http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/product/productDet.jsp?productItemID=1%2C689%2C949%2C371%2C929%2C616&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395181113&bmUID=1423542200921
I knew my little girls would be drawn to them - who wouldn't be?! They're vibrant & colorful, and the images almost seem to pop off the bricks!

http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/product/productDet.jsp?productItemID=1%2C689%2C949%2C371%2C929%2C616&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395181113&bmUID=1423542200921
The blocks are printed on all sides, so there's no back or front to worry about - our castles look fabulous from any side! There are several different shapes, from bridges to cylinders, cubes, pyramids and the blue tower pieces. These were great for reviewing our 3d shapes!

The back of the box has some building suggestions for different size castles, which might be nice for children who are intimidated by having to create, but generally my kiddos preferred to create their own castles. We did keep the box to store the blocks - they fit back in easily (oh miracle!) and the box is sturdy enough that it should last us a good while. All 60 blocks can be cleaned up and put neatly in the box in less than 3 minutes by my kiddos!

The best thing about the blocks is that it takes very few to make a convincing castle,
So for those kiddos who aren't ready to collaborate, they can happily build with a few pieces while the rest of the group builds a larger structure.

Now, you can't see it in these pictures, but the girls' attendance rate at Block Center went way up. In fact, girls had a hand in creating every castle pictured! That's something to cheer for right?!
 Every castle is unique & gorgeous!

Symmetry is a natural product of building with these blocks!


My favorite part is asking the kids who lives in their castles. One kiddo retold the story of  Beauty & the Beast, while another child's castle was occupied by Flynn Rider & Rapunzel!

Other stories included a family vacation at a haunted castle, a fairy godmother's house and even
the home of a good knight who fights the monster under the bridge! Oh and the castle where the king lives from Humpty Dumpty - loved that!

The castle doors are open, please come inside!

We've been using these blocks nonstop for a few weeks now, and they still look like new - that paint is on there to stay! Honestly, I haven't found a single flaw with these (but I would love some little wooden people to go with - we started putting some Lego people in the Castles and the imaginative play was awesome!) 

If you've fallen in love with these Castle Blocks like I have, click here for a 20% Off  Coupon for anything at Lakeshore Learning!

Disclaimer: I was provided the product free of charge for an impartial review. The opinions expressed are based on my own experience with using the product in my classroom.

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