Last night was the second night of Chanukah, and we gave our kids a 52-piece Tegu Block set. These blocks are a new arrival here at Magic Beans, and they’re addictive. They are wooden blocks embedded with magnets. The magnets are fully encased and powerful enough to support the weight of the wood without being so strong as to make it difficult to separate them. They are wonderful for building, because structures stay together and the magnets open lots of new possibilities for construction technique.
But the Tegu story goes far beyond playthings. The founders of the company initially didn’t set out to make toys, per se. They simply wanted to bring a new enterprise to Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere. After discovering a bounty of hardwoods and emerging sustainable foresting initiatives, brothers Chris and Will Haughey decided to breathe some new life into the classic wooden block. Their company provides fair wages to Honduran workers, is planting thousands of new trees for every tree used to make their blocks, and has also partnered with a school in Tegucigalpa to help provide educational opportunities for children. All that and a truly fabulous product, too? Wow.
All three of my kids had a blast with the Tegu Blocks last night, each of them interacting with the product in a different way. My older girls built staircases, buildings, and sculptural structures. My youngest stacked up the cubes then modified a staircase into a train and pushed it around the room. I had a blast watching them play (and even cleaning up after them). But if you want inspiration for how to build and what kinds of things you can build, you only need to visit the company’s website. They have a LiveStream broadcast running on their homepage that shows their Tegu geniuses building all kinds of amazing creations (I just watched, spellbound, as the guy fashioned a fairly convincing baboon).
If you’re looking for a great, really unique holiday gift, I can’t recommend these highly enough. Tegu is a winner, both for play potential and for social conscience. Here’s our full selection of Tegu Blocks.