Kids on the Block (Guidecraft IO Blocks) Review

 

I was recently selected to host a Guidecraft IO Blocks ‘Kids on the Block’ party (by Tryazon).  Below you will find my detailed review 🙂

Guidecraft Information:

What Was Included In The Set:

Set includes the following:

  • 500 block pieces in a nice storage container for easy storage
    • There are 12 unique shapes in 6 different colors included
  • IO Block App tracker pad
  • IO Blocks Augmented Reality App
  • 20 double-sided creativity cards (that show you how to make certain designs)

Overall Review

IO Blocks, which are different from other blocks you may be used to, are a nice alternative to Legos.   My son who loves to build things especially enjoyed playing with them.

Besides the entertainment value, my favorite thing about them is the educational aspect they offer (the combination of a physical toy with technology).  With a focus on STEM, these blocks help stimulate brain development, creativity, and problem solving skills.

Overall,  IO Blocks provided a fun and rewarding time for all.

The Blocks

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IO Blocks have a pixelated shape design and are made of a durable plastic material.  Curved pieces help add movement to the created designs.  What makes them unique is their puzzle-like qualities that allow them to be combined in a number of ways with an adjustable “friction fit”.

The possibilities are truly endless with what you can build with these. With IO Blocks, children can use their creativity to build such things as robots and animals.

The “build cards” are a nice addition, as they offer design inspiration when building.  These cards provide detail on what pieces you will need to build the specific design.  Step by step instructions would be helpful as well, however.

Although they are of decent quality for the most part, one downside is that some of the pieces fit together loosely, making it difficult to build certain designs (i.e. the windmill design).  Some designs simply fell apart when attempted to be played with.

IO Blocks Augmented Reality App

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Here is where the technology aspect comes in!  Once you build your design, you can bring it to life in 3D using the free IO Blocks app.  To use, follow these steps:

  • First, download the app
  • Launch the app and select a model
  • Point the camera to IO Blocks Tracker
  • Use the animation feature to help build your chosen model

The app could use some work, however.  When you place your device over the Tracker, it has to be done in a very precise fashion.  This can make it difficult if you don’t have anyone else to hold the device while you build (would ideally need a hands free device).

One other suggestion would be to place a UPC like code on the build cards that, when scanned, takes you directly to the desired instruction screen.

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