Are these the ultimate screen time alternative?
Posted on 15th October 2018
They’re one of our most recommended items in the challenge against too much screen time. They’re also one of our most recommended items for active little people who love building stuff up as much as they love to knock stuff down! Roughly the size of a standard house brick, KICKBricks are soft enough to crash through, but firm enough to build with. Following on from our Bilibo blog earlier in the month, they are another toy that’s genius lies in the infinite number of uses.
Designed and developed right here in Melbourne by soccer coach and dad of two very active boys, Nick Cook, they are a brilliant toy for kids of all ages and abilities. After surviving two weeks exhibiting at the Royal Melbourne Show, we took a few moments to ask him about the world of KICKBrick and the connections between kids, learning and play.
As with every great idea, everyone wants to know where it came from?! What was the light bulb moment for KICKBrick?
As well as KICKBrick Toys we also run Little Kickers pre-school soccer classes for kids from 18m-7yrs. We needed something for them to defend and attack that wouldn’t break, as well as something they could work together to build up really high and then safely knock down. There wasn’t anything freely available, so we created our own!
Building and construction is the obvious use for KICKBricks, but what else can they be used for?
Wow, the list is almost endless, it constantly surprises me how creative the kids can be and what they end up using the bricks for. The list includes;
- Forts for action figures and dolls
- Balancing games and pattern work
- Roads and train tracks
- Chairs and beds
- Games like “floor is lava!”
- Targets for balls games, nerf/water gun targets
- Bath/pool fun (they also stick together when wet!)
If there was ever a way to get kids off screens it’s giving them something they can crash into! Any other suggestions?
My favourite is bricking up doorways. It takes a lot of time, balance and concentration to do and only seconds to destroy, but the pleasure on the kids faces is priceless. I sometimes do it myself if I need a tactic to get the kids out of bed or it’s great to do at Christmas to make sure no one has left their room to sneak a peek at any presents!!
As a soccer coach and parent of two boys, what have you learnt about the connection between kids, learning and play?
Firstly the top 3 things I have learnt are;
- Kids love to be challenged
- They love structured but lively play
- They love knocking stuff down!! ?
I believe that if the kids are engaged in learning and they can learn through play, using their bodies and minds actively, it is the best scenario for everyone. They are much more focused, they have a great time and come out of the activity having really learnt something that will stay with them. Plus if they can feel a sense of achievement in what they have done it can lead to higher self-esteem and better communication skills.
We’re often asked if KICKBricks are suitable for children with an ASD diagnosis or other similar challenges and our answer is always the same. KICKBricks are a wonderfully versatile product and can assist in a huge range of development areas for ALL CHILDREN, everything from balance and numeracy, to pattern recognition and hand eye coordination. The key is to use them to help work on the areas of development you’re focusing on at the time and make it as fun and interactive as you can. KICKBricks come in a pack of 30 bricks and are available on our website in two different colour combinations, follow this link to grab yourself a set today!