Do you ever find yourself watching sitcoms or movies in which there’s a young child being given a velveteen rabbit or wooden rocking horse that’s been passed down from generation to generation of the family and think “I wish I had something like that for my children”? Well, Uncle Goose Blocks are the answer. Handcrafted in Grand Rapids, Michigan using fast-growing, sustainable American Basswood that grows in the Great Lakes area, each block is like a work of art and – if taken care of – is designed to last you for generations!
Completely untreated, that means there’s no varnish, sheen, gloss, or polish that could hurt your little one’s tummy; even the paints and inks are all tested to make sure there’s no heavy metals or phthalates (stuff added to plastics to make them more durable) detected!
What else is great about Uncle Goose Blocks? Well, they aren’t just your every day alphabet blocks, they come in several different languages including Cherokee, Greek, Hebrew Norwegian, Japanese, Thai, Spanish, American Sign Language, Braille, and many more! Not interested in different language blocks? There’s also other types of learning blocks such as fossils, ocean, birds, planets, nautical, constellations, nursery rhymes, memory, Greek mythology and (my personal favorite) their “Women Who Dared” which showcases 32 women who changed history by daring to dare.
Now, listen, I had to take a couple classes on “the importance of play in childhood development” while working here so I could go on and on about how important block play is or learning new languages or expanding horizons and blah blah but anything I say about it is going to sound like it was pulled from a textbook. Heck, everything I said above (to me) feels like it would be found in just a product catalogue rather than a cute blog for a locally owned toy store. Even though all of it is true, I’m not going to present it that way anymore. Instead, I’m just going to talk about how cool these blocks are and how much of a difference it is to look at pictures online vs coming into the store and feeling them in your hand (we have several different ones out of box just for this purpose). You ready? Let’s go.
If you can come into the store, please take a good look and feel for yourself. For those of you who can’t, I’ll do my best to describe the way the look and feel here:
The blocks feel soft, gentle to the touch almost like a hard velvet; they don’t reek of fresh cut pine with oozing sap but instead have a soft touch of a newly sanded table before you paint or put a finish on it. The smell doesn’t stick to your hands either. Intricate carved details appear delicate, a cut of lace or an individual snowflake before it melts in your hand, yet sturdy enough for you to run your fingers over and over again until you have each raised line – each indented circle – memorized. They’re light, much lighter than I expected really, to the point where having one in you hand just feels like a cube of solid air rather than a block. Curved edges make sure not to hurt as you tumble, roll, and toss them. The details depend on the set you get but I can personally guarantee that every carving and painting looks phenomenal. And yes, I did just do this as an excuse to flex my description abilities a bit rather than just my humor.
Honestly, even if you don’t want to buy them for your kids but are intrigued or find them aesthetically pleasing, get a set for yourself! No shame in that. I bought one just because I think they’re pretty and rolling one in my hand helps me calm down after a stressful day.
General alphabet block sets come in several languages for $48.39 each, our last ocean set is $25.88, and last two “women who dared” are $68.88.