A friend of mine introduced these snap toys to my tots. I initially thought they would be too complicated for my 4-year-old, so I bought them for my 7-year-old. But to my surprise and pleasure, my little one unleashed her creative spirit and began building very complicated structures all by herself.
LaQ Snap Toys are like LEGO sets, in that you use pieces to build things, but these lock together by snapping. Plus, unlike LEGOs, these pieces are flat, not thick blocks. The connector pieces essentially have only three shapes: square, triangle and oblong (the oblongs are the connector pieces, some of them allowing for 3D creations). LaQ was developed in Japan and is now only making its way to the US. These toys are available on Amazon, but SnapToyz.com has much better prices (Amazon sells the girls’ set for $66.25 vs. $49.99).
The sets come with guides that map out exactly how to put together a certain creation, but after 20 minutes my tots came up with their own. Their creative juices were flowing full-force and non-stop. Snap Toyz come with a case, making them perfect to bring on a boring outing to mommy’s friend’s house (where the adults yak it up non-stop). My friends were in sheer awe at how quiet and non-annoying the kids were while we sat in the dining room. They played in the living room for hours without a single complaint or sound!
But parents’ BFF aside, playing with these toys can heighten brain activity. It’s not like they will insure your kid getting a perfect SAT score, but anything to activate their brains while playing is preferred to anything a screen provides. And they are actually fun for grown-ups, too. I found myself fighting for pieces as I played with them, but because I was limited by my concept of space and dimension, my creations weren’t nearly as good as my kids’.
Snap Toyz are by far more engaging than LEGO since the possibilities are greater. All of the pieces are generic so you will never find yourself stuck because you are missing a specific piece. These are a best bet for best money spent on a toy!