This month, we were recently sent some items from Strictly Bricks – a new STEM toy founded in 2014 that encourages children to learn and create using the power of construction.
T’s reached a wonderful age where he really enjoys building and creating “masterpieces”, and has a bounty of Lego in his room, but these sets can come at a cost, so when we were invited to try out an alternative we were keen to see how they compared.
Strictly Bricks: Playing is Learning
The packs we received for review were the Alphabricks and the loose bag of 156 bricks which offer a range of bricks in different sizes and colours – perfect for topping up your current tubs of bricks.
From the very start it was easy to see the comparison between Lego. The size, shape, and feel (especially when you walk on them!) are identical, and the bricks are compatible with Lego baseplates (and via versa). Equally, Lego characters and other props are also compatible with Strictly Bricks.
The only difference are the colours (they’re different to your usual Lego colours) and the price! The Alphabricks start from £16.99 and the bag of 156 pieces is less than a tenner! This was already starting to look promising on my wallet.
Within the Alphabricks pack is a 10×10 base and 100 letters that fit comfortably on the base plate, and can be easily removed thanks to a ridge that’s built in underneath. It also comes with a smart little carry bag.
For extra dimensional spelling, the letters can also attach to bricks and other Lego pieces to potentially create shop and street signs!
Although T is just exploring his words and letters, I found Alphabricks to be a welcome tool when teaching him to spell and copy words – although I would probably prefer it if there was a separate pack with lower case letters to assist with this further.
Nevertheless, we’ve still enjoyed ourselves and games we’ve played so far include copying words and names that I’ve written down – where T has to find the matching letters – as well as missing letters, where he then has to find the missing letter from a word I’ve written down previously.
Each tile reminds me of the quality of a scrabble tile – albeit thinner – and the pack is generous when it comes to the amount of letters available – even ‘Y’ and ‘W’! There’s also symbols included in the pack, from hashtags to @ signs.
A Bag of Bricks
As well as the letters, we also received a bag of 156 bricks, which came in handy when we wanted to take a break from spelling. The variety of bricks meant we could build basic buildings or simply odd looking animals.
Later on, when T is more advance in his spelling, I can imagine using the coloured bricks with the letters to identify when there’s a vowel or consonant in a word, for example.
As well as the obvious and dramatic difference in price, I really like how much you can do with Strictly Bricks if you were to add to your collection.
Looking at their website, there are endless possibilities thanks to baseplates that come in different sizes and shapes – not to mention ones that can be stacked using pillars, creating a whole new level (literally) similar to something from Minecraft! As well as their traditional packs, there are also bricks made out of silicone as well as larger bricks that are compatible with Duplo.
I’m actually really impressed with Strictly Bricks and would absolutely consider buying any replacement brick sets or baseplates from them. They’re reasonably priced and long lasting.