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We have fundraised quite successfully recently and I want to buy some blocks. I know community playthings are highly thought of, or are there others I should consider? Which ones would you recommend or find the children like better, for those that have them please? Our children are 2-4 years old.

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If you're thinking about big blocks, I would say Community Playthings all the way! We have had ours for nearly ten years and they are used every day. The only thing you have to watch for, is they're quite heavy, so you have to be careful with them falling down and for trapped fingers. They are a fantastic resource though, indoors and out.

Edited by Stargrower
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I have one set that are over 50 years old........they have survived a school caretaker trying to burn them in the furnace 9 how i got them......a rescue project!), they have been sokaed through in a flood, played with by hundreds of little hands and they still look good. I have added to them over the years (you can NEVER have too many!).

 

I would suggest you get a range of sizes, including the mini blocks ( those are great for little hands and table top play).............one of our children is seen in the new catalogue, building a tower of them :)

 

I wouldn't ever consider any other provider for blocks.....no splinters, high quality, durable. YES they are expensive, no doubt about it. But value for money?? Absolutely. Have fun choosing your sets

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We have the mini blocks and some hollow blocks. We see some very interesting what we call 'Laurel and Hardy moments' when children are developing their spacial awareness! We have some wooden steering wheels bought from TTS that we use and children make cars and boats. Fantastic resource. Would buy more if we could afford.

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We have solid only - larger and smaller sets. Their geometrical shape is clearer. Today children were making large cuboids out of many smaller ones - one started and others did the same, adding various pieces to make their cuboid grow.

The hollow blocks may fulfil another purpose.

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we have both hollow and solid. Last week, one of the children stacked lots of the hollow blocks, pretending they were an hotel........he had a car park in the basement and a helipad on top. One or two of the blocks were the hotel rooms and the mini blocks became the furniture

 

I have had children make beds out of blocks with wooden pillows and using the cylindrical blocks as bedside lamps

 

ramps? I've had a two year old driving flatbed trucks up them, trying to keep a helicopter in place on the back.when it slipped back down he would giggle and say 'silly me!' before doing it again and again..........

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We have a large cp hollow block school set for outdoors. The most fantastic resource ever invented in my humble opinion.

They are large and quite heavy, but enables lots of working in partnership.

We also have a wonderful sack given to us from a training with early excellence. These have cylinder shapes, coloured perspex shapes with accompanying books and posters on architecture. I am looking to raise enough to buy the small hollow ones from cp next year. Love them love them love them.

Whatever you decide have fun.

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Don't forget to keep an eye on ebay, blocks sometimes come up ( I bought a wonderful set in brand new condition for £50 recently). CP also sell blocks in sets of four, so you can add to things at reasonable prices. YPO sell all CP items at 2% off...........and ALWAYS look out for educational exhibitions where CP are displaying as they will sell off everything on their stand at a 20% reduction :) ( that's how I got some very good buys)

Edited by narnia
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  • 3 weeks later...

Catalogue arrived... crikey they are SO expensive! I thought our £400 would be ok, it barely gets you a few blocks. have just looked at the TTS ones (solid birch) and early years direct (birch plywood) and they seem a little more reasonable. Has anyone bought the TTS ones? I don't think we will ever be able to afford a decent set of the Community Playthings ones :(

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MegaMum, We have both the creative crate and the 5 construction trays on wheels from TTS. We have had them about 7 years. The children play with the creative crate ones more than the others. Over the years they have got banged and bashed but our lovely caretaker just sands them down on the corners. I would buy the crate ones again.

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Oh my goodness.... Couldn't decide but finally ordered an introductory set and wooden shelf plus 1/2 pre-school hollow blocks and storage cart. FAR FAR exceeded what we fungraised and A LOT of money, but after a sleepless night of should I shouln't I, I ordered them this afternoon and can't wait for them to arrive! Now to reorganise the room.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Blocks arrived Monday.....FABULOUS!!!!! We have had all sorts of wonderful creations.... from a dance stage where we all danced to the 'Let's Move CD' train station, and a huge car yesterday. Wish I could upload photos, but they have the children on them. Hollow blocks are the favourite so far. Thanks for persuading me to get them

Edited by MegaMum
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No........................only my very ancient set that had been soaked. I used boiled linseed oil and they came up a treat :)

So no need to oil them to keep them clean and dent-free if used on an outdoor cement floor?

I found this and was thinking that it may be a good idea to treat them as a prevention:

http://www.communityplaythings.co.uk/utility/maintenance

Edited by Wildflowers
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wildflowers...................I only treated mine because they are so ancient ( 45+ years) and had been through the mill. I gave them a gentle scrub and allowed them to dry, then applied the boiled linseed oil.They look lovely now.........dark and delicious.......... If you're using them on a concrete floor, they're going to get dents, but at least they won't splinter. I would consider the maintenance,but i would probably have some sort of rug, or drop cloth to protect them from the worst dents. The main thing though is that they're used............... :)

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Ours are also many many years old but we do find they slip so I now give the children anti slip matting to use with them . They are currently stored in a very large wooden trunk in our foyer. I want to move them so we can create more space in foyer. I have a spare outside unit ( plastic one with doors) , my question is , would they be ok left outside in this type of storage , do you experience any problems with damp etc

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Ours were stored in an outside shed in a CP wooden trolley. The trolley was affected but not the blocks. I would still put them in a container, such as a large plastic one on wheels. (And, back to my old topic, perhaps oil them before using them outside, so you don't have to clean them before oiling them later.)

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We keep our CP woodwork bench outside in a keter storage unit. I wouldn't keep any wooden blocks etc outside without protection of some kind.If your blocks are slipping it might be a good idea to give hem a gentle scrub, then oil them. It could give them a new lease of life.

 

Megamum............SO glad you bought them......and so glad they're a hit. You needed no persuading; youknew you wanted them really..........here's to many,many years of fun with them x

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