Disclaimer: This post has been produced in partnership with Early Years Resources catalogue. We were not paid for this article, but goods were sent in exchange for an honest and frank review.
As soon as we were offered the opportunity to test and review the ‘BioBuddi Learning Symbols’ blocks, we were excited for their arrival as our preschool aged children have developed a significant interest in identifying shapes and patterns at the moment and so these would be a welcome addition to the setting.
The product was dispatched quickly and arrived efficiently, the outer-packaging was secure and attractive, however when we unpacked the item we were under-whelmed by the quantity of the blocks and boards within the packaging as there were not as many as expected and for the volume of children we have on a daily basis, this wasn’t ideal.
We were also surprised to learn that blocks were not pre-painted with the patterns and shapes and instead we had to stick these on ourselves/with the children, this wasn’t a huge issue for us as we agree this is a great fine motor skills for children to develop, peeling and sticking with precision is a great skill, however, some of the stickers were tricky to get off and challenging even for one of our older children (8 years old) to do with confidence, but we persisted none the less and used the booklet to create and produce the symbols as per the set-up instructions.
Two of our pre-school children instantly showed an interest in the blocks as they were finished and spent over 15 minutes playing co-operatively together; stacking the blocks on the board (again disappointing to only have one!) identifying patterns, symbols and colours as they did so.
Sadly, after being accessed a few more times this week, the stickers have started to come off of the blocks which is disappointing, but we have decided to encourage the children to make their own stickers with patterns, shapes and colours on to replace any that come off.
The product does come with a handy and informative booklet however, full of information about how the product is made which in the current global climate is important, particularly for us as a setting as we are actively trying to reduce the amount of plastic toys within our provision, however these products claim to be ‘eco-friendly’, ‘educational’, ‘durable’ and ‘safe’ and within the booklet BioBuddi break it down completely and outline how the products are made and that they are completely recyclable which we were pleased to find out. The booklet also contains a dot-to-dot activity for the children to complete to support them in drawing and identifying shapes too.
In conclusion, we would say that as a whole the product is fit for purpose, good for the environment, but perhaps could be designed better and come with a larger volume of pieces for those larger settings who need significantly more of a resource in order for it to be a viable group learning activity. These could be a beneficial 1:1 learning activity or a welcome addition to a Maths table or corner in a larger setting perhaps.
To order the BioBuddy symbols, visit https://www.earlyyearsresources.co.uk/search/biobuddi