Ollies Wooden Blocks are like LEGO meets Tinkertoys meets Erector sets
These sets of precision-cut oak blocks and planks, combined with clever connectors, are intended to help spark creativity and imagination in kids, and to "make playtime more meaningful."
I'm a huge advocate of hands-on learning/playing for kids, and whether it's LEGO or Tinkertoy or building blocks, my kids seem to thrive on building and experimenting and inventing things just with their own imagination and some basic components. It's one of the few activities that they don't ever want to stop doing, and one that I know is helping them to learn a variety of skills, from basic motor movements to critical thinking to spatial reasoning (fancy words for building cool stuff that works that makes sense to them), which is why I'm really jazzed about the launch of a new (to us) wooden building kit.
The story of Ollies Wooden Blocks is pretty neat, as the founder, Haran Yaffe, is rebooting a wooden toy set, originally known as "Yael’s Wooden Toys," which his father used to make at his small toy company, and which Haran used to play with as a child. Haran and his father are relaunching the set as Ollies (for Haran's daughter Olivia), and working to bring it to market as a "simplistic, hands-on approach to playtime."
The toy set includes precision-cut wooden blocks and planks (said to be surplus oak directly from wood artisans) that can be joined together in a variety of different ways using the interlocking plastic connectors, which allows kids to build objects that can move, with angles and shapes that can be adjusted during play.
"Ollies Wooden Blocks are different from traditional building blocks because they truly offer endless possibilities. With nothing to limit their imagination, kids can create anything they want with these building blocks. They are enjoyable to build, and even more fun to take apart! The interlocking blocks fit each other perfectly, forming various angles and shapes. This not only prevents them from getting bored, but also encourages them to indulge in their creativity and better develop motor skills." - Ollie's
Ollies is currently in a crowdfunding phase with a Kickstarter campaign, with eight days to go, and the campaign is almost to its funding goal. Backers at the $49 level will get a 50-piece set, and backers at the $79 level will get a 100-piece set ($119 retail), while pledges of $149 will reserve a 200-piece set.