The Artec come in sets which are suitable for 8+, 5+ or 3+ and we tried the 3+ Emergency Vehicles set which was perfect for Mr T (3) and Mr Z (5) to play with together.
The set contains 30 pieces in a mixture of red, white, blue and black and comes with instructions to make 5 different vehicles. The majority of the pieces are square shaped, with some smaller flatter pieces, some triangular ones and some wheels. The pieces all easily connect together just by pushing them into place. There are holes and raised sections on each piece which is how they fit together.
Both Mr Z and Mr T were able to manage to construct their own designs by putting the blocks together, and I didn’t see them getting frustrated with it at all. Mr T does have delayed motor skills but was still able to cope well with the pieces which I was really happy with. I do find with some construction toys that the stated ages on the packaging can be too ambitious but the age on this seemed just right.
I also really liked that the size of the blocks are not so small that you would have to worry about younger siblings or choking hazards, but at the same time they manage not to be too babyish.
Artec blocks are originally from Japan, where they are used in schools all over the country. The instruction leaflet included in the box was written in Japanese but the picture instructions were very clear and easy to follow so this really did not pose a problem for us in making the suggested vehicles.
Here are our constructions! We really enjoyed making these, and the boys enjoyed mixing and matching the blocks to make their own original constructions too. I am really pleased with these blocks as a great construction toy for the mixed aged groups I have with my children. I do find these days Mr Z is wanting some more grown up toys as many of the preschool toys we have are getting a little babyish for him, but I do have to be careful about having very small pieces out around the younger children so this is ideal.
After a while, I think we will need to get some more sets to expand the play potential and add more variety. You can buy buckets or starter sets with 100 or 200 pieces which would really add to it nicely, and make sure there is plenty of pieces for all three boys to share as Mr R will soon be wanting to join in too.
I would definitely recommend these blocks 🙂 Since we first tried them in August the boys have kept an interest in them and they will randomly come up and present me with a creation that they have made!