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Sweet Pea is 45 months old.

From: Have you heard of Twig?  Sweet Pea has recently outgrown a lot of her toddler things so I have been looking for some new preschool toys.  I had seen a lot of great reviews for Twig, a unique building block set, so I was thrilled when I spotted it at our local toy store.  I thought this toy would be perfect for Sweet Pea.

Observations: Twig is a set of 72 brightly colored wooden cubes and rods.  The pieces are sanded smooth and precision-cut so they easily fit together in an variety of interesting ways.  They seem like a great idea for an open ended building toy.

I had not read even one bad review of this toy, so I was really excited to give them to Sweet Pea.  People raved about this set so much that I had visions of her playing alone with it for hours while I cleaned the house and cooked dinner.  I wondered if I might even have time to sit on the couch with my feet up and read a great book while she played on the floor next to me…

It was not to be.  To say these were “not a hit” is an understatement.  Of course, Sweet Pea was incredibly excited to open the box, but as soon as we had taken all of the pieces out, she played with them for less than 3 minutes before she asked, “What else?” and wandered away.

In fact, I’m pretty sure that I enjoyed Twig more than Sweet Pea.  Later that evening, I played with them for about an hour while my husband and I watched an episode of House.  It was fun to see how high of a tower I could create and just generally fiddle with them.  If I have any complaints, it is that there are far to many plain rods and not enough “holed” cubes.

I actually left them out on the coffee table for a few days with the hope that they would attract Sweet Pea’s interest, but they sat untouched.  Eventually I put them on  a shelf where they have remained  for over 3 weeks and she hasn’t so much as looked at them again.

I was hoping that Sweet Pea was too young for Twig, but after looking at the Fat Brain toy age / usage chart (scroll to the the middle of the page) I think I’m wrong.  There is a significant decline in interest for most children after the age of 3.  Since Sweet Pea will be turning 4 in April, I am afraid she is actually too old for them.  I wish I would have given these to her sooner (or at this price, not bought them at all).  Looks like one of my lucky friend’s kids will be inheriting this expensive pile of wood.

Has anyone else had any experience with Twig?  Do you have any suggestions for a better open ended toy for a 4-year old?

Rating: 2 Stars * (Easy, Independent)

7 comments to Twig

  • Anna

    Trio building blocks, Zoob, and Wedgits are all hits at our house. My oldest is nine and he still plays with all of these toys!

    • admin

      Thanks for the ideas Anna. We have Trio blocks and Sweet Pea does like those. The problem with them is that they require a _lot_ of my help when she plays with them. All the pieces are just a little too hard to snap together and then the “rod” pieces always seem to fall apart. So once we get a creature built and she starts to play with it, the legs fall off and I have to help her snap them back on. I will look into Zoob and Wedgits though. Thanks so much for taking the time to give me some suggestions!

  • Natasha

    Hmmm…interesting. For what it’s worth, I just got these for my son (who will be 2 in March) at Christmas time. Shhhh…I didn’t really get them for him now, I actually got them for his older sisters (and for him to grow into) because I knew the girls would potentially enjoy them, but wouldn’t have been impressed if that’s what they opened on Christmas Day. My son enjoys just looking at them/playing with them, but not building, which of course I expected at his age. One of my girls (3 1/2) loves playing with them, but I’d noticed before I bought them that she really enjoys building things, much more than her older sister did at that age. My 5 1/2 year old really enjoys them too, but this is the first time she’s shown interest in building anything at all. I can guarantee if I would have given them to her 1 1/2 years ago, she would have cared less. So all that to say, even if Fat Brain shows the average user to be younger it may not be true in your case (as it wasn’t in ours).

    • admin

      Thanks for taking the time to write such an insightful reply to my post. You have made me think that I should hang on to the Twig set and try again when Sweet Pea is older.

  • I also have an almost 4 year old and I’m coming up with the same problem. Please post as you find ideas!
    P.S. I’ve been a lurker for quite a while (over a year). I love your ideas! Thanks so much for sharing them.

    • admin

      It does seem to be a tough age for toys, doesn’t it? If I come across anything great, I will be sure to post about it. I’m glad you like my ideas!

  • Jess

    Thanks so much for the honest review!!! So many other blogs just have these raving reviews because they got the product for free but I truly appreciate your truthful description. Has your daughter ever tried Metro Mags or Magna Tiles or Magformers? Those are my 3 year old’s favorite (all magnetic).

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