As Earth Day approaches, I’ve been trying to understand why I tend to choose eco-friendly products and when did I become a bit “crunchy”? I received my B.S. in Geology, so what’s best for the Earth really isn’t my main concern. I wouldn’t go as far to say that it isn’t a concern at all, but my family is truly my main concern. I make eco-friendly choices because they offer me products that are free from potentially harmful toxins and the companies often either help local economies or are advocates for conservation particularly through the practice of sustainable resources. The main place I see a major difference in quality of products of eco-friendly vs. not is in the toy category. I love toys that LAST and foster imagination, so when I came across Tegu, I knew I had found another company that I’d love.
There is something magical about watching a child’s imagination unfold. The curiosity. The ingenuity. The creativity. At Tegu, we design products to unlock the mind and inspire creative experiences which captivate children in safe, natural and innovative ways.
Tegu sent me a Tegu Pocket Pouch – Jungle, which consists of 8 wooden pieces (4 cubes & 4 short planks) in natural brown & green colors. Although they may look like your average stacking blocks, they have a hidden secret. Within each block is a magnet, so the pieces are “curiously attractive” to each other. The first thing that I liked about the blocks is when I removed them from the felt pouch; they didn’t fall all over the ground. Since they cling to one another, you can pull the whole set out of the carrying pouch.
The pieces are made from gorgeous hardwoods that are harvested responsibly from Honduras. The company supports sustainable forestry and also assists in reforestation. In fact, with every purchase of a Tegu wooden toy, the purchaser gets to decide whether to help send a Honduran child to school for a day or plant a tree. Plus, check out Tegu’s social impact in Honduras in the video below. It’s amazing what one company can do to make a difference.
The magnets themselves aren’t exactly eco-friendly, but the company does try to choose suppliers that are proactive in minimizing the negative effects of mining. Regardless, my main concern about the magnets was safety. We all know that little kids put things in their mouths, so magnets are not my favorite thing to have in toys. Usually magnets are on the outside and though they are hard to remove, it is always possible. The Tegu blocks actually have the magnets safely embedded inside the wood, so they aren’t easily accessible. The product is recommended for ages 3+, so if you choose to use it for younger children, they should be closely monitored.
I actually was surprised about how much the magnetic capability of these blocks adds to the overall versatility of play. Yes, you can stack them, but you can also build out horizontally. You can forget about bumping the table and having your whole tower fall over…although my daughter still was able to destroy the tower. It just took a bit more effort on her part. The magnets also offer the ability of movement. You can spin a cube or add a set of wheels to transform your creation into a more interactive toy. You can check out the video of Blocks In Action below…I love the idea of the crane!
Even at my daughter’s young age, she was perplexed when the blocks wouldn’t go together (magnets repelling). These will be a great homeschooling tool in the future to talk about magnetic fields. The blocks are also designed based off the 30 mm cube. This is useful for teaching since all the pieces use this base unit. For example, the short plank’s width is ¼ of a block, so you would need four planks stacked to equal the same thickness as the cube. This would be a great visual for teaching fractions.
We tried the magnets out on the fridge and my daughter has been quite entertained taking them on and off. I tried to get her to stack them, but she wanted to have each one individually on the fridge. She did end up putting all the cubes up high…thanks to the magnets grabbing ability…and the planks at her level, so it looks like we might have another sorter on our hands.
I also love that this set is so portable and I can conveniently fit in my purse. They pocket pouch would be perfect for
- Car and plane trips
- Doctor appointments
The last one, offices, is an interesting one because even if you don’t have children, if you work an in office that is frequented by children, this toy would be a great investment. I remember when I worked in a bank that it is sometimes hard for kids to sit still when there’s a bit of paperwork that needs to be signed. The pocket pouch would be perfect to pull out for them to play with and also easy to wipe/sterilize clean for the next kiddo. I also love the idea of “thinkering”, thinking while tinkering. Sometimes we just need to take a mental break at the office and tinker with something for an idea to materialize.
Another perk is that the blocks are all interchangeable. If I lose some pieces, I know that the next set is going to work perfectly with my current blocks. I also love that the company is willing to arrange for return shipping (free of charge) if your blocks have an accident (Fido chewed on them) or if you no longer want them. They then take those damaged or unwanted blocks and recycle them!
I have to admit that I’ve probably played with these blocks more than my daughter, but not because she wasn’t interested. I just hoarded them as I was trying to create different things…they are a bit addictive. Although I love the pocket pouch, I definitely want to add to it. My daughter is into playing with cars right now, so I think adding the wheel set or maybe even one of the car sets to the pocket pouch would be perfect. I would love to add some of the Tegu Tints to my our collection to make the pretty peacock below!
The Tegu Pocket Pouch would be perfect for summer travel and also for a creative Father’s Day gift since we know most dads could use some time to “thinker”. Luckily, Tegu is offering a 25% discount to our readers, so you’ll definitely want to pick a few up for upcoming gifts or if you’re a real planner…stocking stuffers!
Just use the code TEGUWONDER for the discount.
You can purchase a Tegu Pocket Pouch for $32 on their website.
Don’t forget to use the special offer code above!
I received samples for the purpose of reviewing. Opinions are my own and/or my families and are not influenced by any form of compensation.