Forget Legos, American Girl Dolls, Nerf Guns and PS3 games (confession: all of the above are currently residing the trunk of my car after a late night shopping spree at Target). For the design-saavy or aspiring creative child, check out these classic-with-a-twist toys for children (and the child at heart):
These functionally playful alphabet blocks afford hours of educational and aesthetic pleasure for young design sophisticates. Created by House Industries in a collaboration with the estate of reknowned mid-century designer Alexander Girard, the 28 wood Alphabet Blocks feature alphabets based on the Alexander Girard font collection and a cleverly-adapted House Industries factory logo puzzle.
Children can bring the spirit of Eames Case Study No. 8 to life with this set of 36 replenishable Michigan-grown basswood blocks, also offered by House Industries.
Okay, so forget what I said about LEGO, because they offer more than Star Wars and Alantis products. In celebration of great architecture, your budding architect can assemble the likes of the Sears Tower, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum®, and even Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. How’s that for a perfect marriage of iconic and high-demand?
For the older, strategic-minded child, why not consider the eternally stylish Bauhaus Chess Board from MOMA? A master craftsman in the Bauhaus wood-carving workshop, sculptor Josef Hartwig became well- known for his architectural chess set. Typical of timeless Bauhaus design, the set’s 32 pieces are shaped like cubes, cylinders, and balls – minimalist forms which represent the way they move on the board.
Finally, there’s the classic KAPLA building blocks which are made of Marine Pine wood from France and are featured in children’s museums across the nation. Each block is the same size, a perfect proportion that allows the planks to be stacked and arranged and balanced to create endless imaginative creations….animals, towers, castles, landscapes, or whatever else comes to the imagination. A unique open-ended building toy that introduces kids to stacking, building, designing, engineering and cool construction.