Ollies is a new line of children’s blocks that brings back the traditional, tactile method of play for kids. Based on the idea that toys should not just entertain kids but should also engage them in productive play, the company is producing simple yet creative and beautiful building blocks for children aiming to make playtime more engaging and meaningful. The blocks are a throwback to the days before smartphones and tablets became the primary source of engagement for the little ones.
The building blocks interlock to allow children to create objects and explore their creativity while playing with eco-friendly products with a nostalgic design. The unique design and shape of the interlocking building blocks differs from that of traditional blocks and offers endless possibilities. With nothing to limit their imagination, kids can create anything they want whilst developing spatial recognition by using three of the four types of child learning; visual, tactile, and kinesthetic.
Founder Haran Yaffe first played with blocks like these as a child which were manufactured by his father Roni’s small toy company. 30 years later, Haran found himself playing with his own young daughter, Olivia, and was fed up with uninspiring, plastic, battery operated toys that did nothing for Olivia’s imagination or learning skills. Haran contacted his father to ask if he still had any remaining blocks he could dig out for Olivia to play with. A few weeks later when his father next visited he brought along the one remaining box of blocks he had found in the attic.
The response was incredible, not only was Haran delighted to see the blocks again but Olivia was completely engaged and wouldn’t put them down. Over the next few weeks many friends of Haran’s who saw the blocks at their house begged him to get some blocks for their children too. With all the excitement around the toy Haran knew he had to resurrect the old building blocks.
Haran asked his father if he would be willing to work together to bring the blocks back to life and his father was just as enthusiastic and suggested they do it through crowdfunding. They decided to name the blocks Ollies’ blocks, after Olivia, in homage to the original blocks which were named after Haran’s sister.
Without a second thought Haran left behind his career in the tech world and was ready to help build a bright future for children by reintroducing the simplistic and hands-on approach to playtime in households everywhere.
“Nowadays, all I see kids playing with are toys that light up and make sounds, and there’s no actual thinking going on. My generation was privileged to grow up with toys like this and we’re so excited to bring this back with our launch and pass down something we had yesterday to the children of today”.
After months of development Haran and Roni had reproduced the blocks to the most incredible standard. The blocks are made from excess wood from oak trees that would otherwise be thrown out and safe, colourful plastic pegs that interlock. Both parents and kids alike will take joy in knowing that these creations aren’t easily destroyed. The aesthetic appeal, durability and endless shapes available provide an ideal toy for children that also provides a great way for parents to interact with their children.
It’s not just children that can benefit from these blocks. More and more, doctors have been prescribing victims of traumatic brain injuries cognitive toys and games to play with as a rehabilitation tool. Ollies has been described by some doctors as a great instrument to incorporate in helping patients get back on their feet. As a military veteran who suffered life threatening injuries during his time in the service, Haran felt that he needed to do something bigger than himself. As a result and in addition to more traditional crowdfunding perks, Ollies is offering backers the chance to donate sets of blocks to children’s hospitals while matching those donations, giving them an alternative way to contribute.
Ollies’ blocks can be purchased from their Kickstarter page https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1020758689/625173991?token=a8247837