Friday, December 1, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide - Strictly Briks

This year has just flown by. Now it is time for holiday shopping and planning. I LOVE to buy gifts, and I generally start early and buy what I can when I can, since I don't always have money to spend. As much as I love getting gifts in general, choosing gifts for my son is practically impossible.

I love my boy to death, he is the sweetest kid you'll ever meet. He's thankful for any gift he gets, but with his autism, he tends to stick to very few activities. Mostly drawing, and using the iPad/computer. There is not much to do with that for gifting, since he already has his own computer and 2 iPads. But I can't just get him fewer gifts than everyone else.

When I ask him what he wants, he asks for food items that no longer exist or are from other countries (things he would never even taste anyway.) I get him books and DVDs and art supplies, and then I just have to wing it and hope he likes what I pick.

The things I've always had the best luck with are building toys. But that is a double-edged sword. He likes them usually and will use them, but many varieties have hundreds of tiny pieces that get everywhere and end up getting lost (or chewed, which is something he needs to stop doing.) Some sets are made to include every piece or they don't work correctly. Making the useless when pieces inevitably get lost.

With my son, I like things that can help him open his mind and create his own ideas. He is already good at copying from examples (instructions), so something more open is actually more out of his comfort zone, which is great.

So I said all that to say this, I found a great building toy line: Strictly Briks. These are similar to other bricks on the market, but Strictly Briks have some wonderful pieces, like base plates, that I have not really seen from other brands. Also, they have silicone sets, which are really cool, and much less painful if stepped on.

My kids share, but I basically got the Big Briks set for my son and the Silicone Straps for my daughter. Of course, she was the first to open both. She always has to be first, especially for something exciting like this. (She pounces on me every time I get a package to try to see what it is before I even have a chance.)

She loves both kits, but as expected, the silicone strap kit was her favorite, because she could make it into a bracelet. Plus, that color scheme is just so adorable. My son was not far behind to join in the fun.

That's when the real fun started, since he helped her build buildings. They were making a city, they said. He explained it to me, how there were roads and an office and skyscraper. It was so sweet. Even funnier is when Little Bit chimed in and was trying to elaborate on his explanation. She does that often but usually does not even fully understand what was going on, so her explanation is unrelated.

Anyway. They had tons of fun with these from the first day they got them. They still play with them regularly, though not together for the most part. I think that is more of a timing thing than not wanting to share. They just do their own things sometimes.

The quality of these Strictly Briks sets is top notch. They are very well made, thick and durable, but not too clunky. Whereas the silicone ones are also very thick and well made, while being soft and pliable. The colors are vibrant and fun. The selection of sizes is very good. So many sets have way too many small blocks and not enough larger ones. These have a nice balance.

I plan to expand their Strictly Briks collection for Christmas. One (well a few) less gifts for me to guess and stress over for my dear son. At least I already know he'll like it, and it's something that will last for years, and even be donated when they are done.

And if my humble opinion is not enough reason to have confidence in Strictly Briks, perhaps the fact that they have won 29 awards in only 6 weeks will help. They were also featured on the The Today Show in the Black Friday Toys Spot. This kind of achievement is relatively unheard of for such a new company.

Have you heard of Strictly Briks yet? What do you think? How would you compare them to other kinds of building blocks? Are you planning to buy any building toys this holiday season? If so, who for and what do you have in mind? I would love to discuss this in the comments. I enjoy sharing ideas and getting advice.

*Although I received these items at no cost to facilitate a review, all opinions are 100% my own.*

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