Monday, November 4, 2013

Back to Blocks {Natural Parent's Network Holiday Gift Guide Review}

Second Annual NPN Holiday Gift Guide & Giveaway (12/6, 24 winners, US only ARV $2587.26)

This review is part of the Second Annual Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide! If you need to complete your holiday shopping, find a birthday present for a friend, or just treat yourself to something special, the NPN Holiday Gift Guide has something for everyone. But what's even better, the NPN Holiday Gift Guide is a great opportunity to shop consciously and to support many naturally-minded small businesses.

The 55 companies that have provided items for review and giveaway are almost exclusively made up of work-at-home shops or companies that are dedicated to supporting eco-conscious choices. I'm featuring one of those companies in my review below. When you get done reading this review, click over to the full Second Annual Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide, where you'll find information on 58 products. In total, we're giving away goodies worth more than $2500! Even if you don't win one of our fabulous prize packages, please consider spending part of your gift-giving budget at one of these small businesses. By supporting small businesses, you are helping families, boosting local economies, and supporting ethical practices of manufacturing, production and selling. Take advantage of coupon codes provided by many of the companies, you can find them at the full Gift Guide at NPN. To make browsing easier, we've split the Gift Guide into sections with products that are Perfect for Kids and Perfect for Families. And you can find all 6 Rafflecopter widgets there, too. 

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Castle Creator set from Back to Blocks

Back to Blocks is a family-owned and operated company out of that Utah that specializes in handcrafted, natural hardwood building blocks at an affordable price. They started the company in 2010 after spending 20 years making wooden block sets for their own children and family friends and getting rave reviews. 

For the NPN review, Back to Blocks sent me a basic block sampler set so I could get a feel for the quality of the materials and enjoy some tower building time with my daughters. 

Both my girls have been into blocks lately and will stack anything and say, "Mama! Towa!" (meaning Tower), and so we've had a great time playing and creating with this beautiful set of blocks. They're smooth and lightweight, so if you drop one on your toe (ahem), it doesn't feel like it's going to fall off. That's a real plus for me, as I'm constantly maiming myself on random objects that find their way around the house. 

The set also comes with column blocks that really unleashed some motor skills mastery and what ensued was adorable - Ruthie was carefully stacking the columns one on top of the other and I could tell by the little hidden smile tugging at the corner of her mouth that she was very proud of herself. We all sat back to silently admire her work, then Afton swooped in, knocking down Ruthie's carefully constructed columns and (while I tried to keep my expression neutral to see her response but silently panicking, it had been one of those days), Ruthie looks shocked...and then cracks up into hysterical laughter and the process starts over again.   

All of Back to Blocks' sets are crafted from poplar, an attractive wood which varies subtly in color, with no paint, dyes, or stain and each set comes in a big bucket for easy storage. They also offer premium sets made from maple or beech. They are easy to clean using my preferred method (and recommended on their web site) 1 part water to 1 part vinegar solution, and I even learned something new - dry natural wood products tend to have antibacterial properties! 

Back to Blocks' products have been tested and meet all safety requirements for children's products; they also guarantee their products and will replace any blocks that crack or split through normal use.

You can also find some informative articles on the Back to Blocks web site, including ways to use building blocks with a special needs child and a Help for Teachers area with project ideas and 101 ways to use building blocks in the classroom, perfect for traditional classrooms or homeschool! 

You can purchase your own block set at Back to Blocks, an idea would be to start with the Basic Builder set for $57 and and adding on in the future. They have some cool, creative sets perfect for kids of all ages, including the Castle Creator set, Whimsical Windows set, and the Super Stacker. I will definitely be using Back to Blocks as gift ideas for the kids in our lives.

They are also offering some upcoming holiday specials: from Nov 15 -Dec 31, the "Family Special", a 160 block "Fun With Friends" set with an additional 12 blocks is on sale for $130.00. A Black Friday special will be an additional 12 blocks added to any block set sold. 

Win It! 

For your own chance to win a building block sampler from Back to Blocks, or one of the 25 huge prize packages we're giving away, come back to this post on November 6th when our Rafflecopter widgets will go live for your chance to enter!

Or you can visit Natural Parents Network on November 6th to see and enter to win all of our fantastic prize packages at once!

Disclosure: Our reviewer received a sample product for review purposes. 
Amazon links are affiliate links.
 We try to seek out only products we think you would find relevant and useful to your life as a natural parent. 
If we don’t like a product, we won’t be recommending it to you.
 See our full disclosure policy here.

1 comment:

  1. I am excited to check out the holiday gift guide list! I aim to be done my Christmas shopping by December 1st :)


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