How to Play With Your Toki Play Cubes
February 6, 2023
One of the most magical things about children is their natural ability to play. Take a baby or toddler outside, and they stop to marvel at the smallest things you would never blink an eye at. Perhaps it’s because they’re not yet learned in the ways and rules of life, but children are naturally creative beings who are capable of synthesizing new ideas and thinking freely outside the box. As parents, we have a natural instinct to correct our kids, telling them to do it like this or do it like that. However, if we leave our children be, we open the door for divergent thinking and help them come up with unexpected solutions. Open-ended toys are the ones that do not have a clear purpose and can be used in a variety of ways—and those ways are entirely up to your child’s imagination. Open-ended play fosters creativity, imagination, and exploration, and that’s why we launched our very own Play Cubes a few weeks ago!
Constructed from non-toxic foam with a soft fabric cover, each Play Cube is lightweight enough for uninhibited, ouch-free play, while still able to support your little one’s weight. Although there’s plenty of fun to be had with one cube, the more Play Cubes you have, the more ways there are to play. These large cubes are 8” by 8” and fitted with a fully removable cover that you can throw in the washer and dryer for easy, convenient cleaning. The foam insert is made from Oeko-Tex certified lightweight PU foam that won’t hurt your little one if it falls over on them. Here are some of the ways you can use your Play Cubes for unlimited fun:
STACKING AND KNOCKING DOWN
Stacking blocks and knocking them down is an activity that children of all ages enjoy. Stacking is a milestone for babies, and by the time they grow into toddlers, they’ll love stacking a tower of blocks as high as possible, then seeing what happens when they knock it over. Because these Play Cubes are jumbo-sized, they’re especially satisfying to knock over. The lightweight foam won’t hurt them, but they’ll enjoy seeing all the cubes tumble down. Not only is this activity fun for littles, it helps them develop fine motor skills, and explore concepts like problem-solving and cause-and-effect. To effectively stack the cubes, they’ll first need to figure out how to stabilize them, and it won’t be long until they’re master builders.
LEARNING COLORS, SHAPES, AND COUNTING
Playing with these large cubes is a great way to teach your little one their colors, shapes, and how to count. You can start by verbalizing your actions as you stack the Play Cubes, saying, “I’m putting the yellow cube on top of the blue cube.” As your child grows, you can ask them to pass you a certain color or count the number of cubes as they stack them. This not only teaches them important concepts, but also develops their language skills through play!
CREATING AN OBSTACLE COURSE
An obstacle course is an excellent way to get your child moving and keep them thoroughly entertained. When children engage in an obstacle course, they burn energy, fine-tune their gross motor skills, and strengthen their bodies. Setting one up at home might seem challenging, but all it takes is a little bit of creativity and guidance. Depending on your child’s age, you can make the obstacle course as easy or as challenging as appropriate. If you have a Pikler triangle, slide, trampoline, a play couch like the Nugget or Foamnasium, you can easily create a complicated and fun obstacle course right in your own living room or playroom. To incorporate your Play Cubes, you can have your toddler hop or step over them, or even throw them out of their way before advancing to the next part of the course.
Inevitably, your child will, at one point or another, stand on their Play Cubes and try to balance their weight on it. While your immediate reaction might be to stop them before they fall, instead make the environment a safer place in case they do take a tumble. You can play your Toki Mats on either side to cushion a fall, or line up your Play Cubes along the couch, so they have somewhere soft to land. Then, have your toddler walk on the cubes to work on their balancing! Balance is important because it allows children to have better control over their bodies. While children love to run and jump, it causes them to also stumble and fall. When they slow down and work on balancing, they focus on controlled movements and tap into deeper awareness of how their bodies move and how to control them. Learning good balance and coordination helps decrease the likelihood of injury as your child grows.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to building with our Play Cubes. You can stack them vertically to build tall towers, or stack them in brick-like tiers to build a wall for your little one to run through. Even babies who can’t yet walk will love crawling through them to knock the cubes over. For older kids who love building forts, their Play Cubes can be the perfect additions to complete a fort castle, or used as interior accessories within.
About the Author: Alice
Alice Mendoza is a copywriter and blog writer based in Los Angeles. She began writing for a baby brand while on maternity leave, and realized she had found her niche. Today, she writes exclusively within the baby space, using her BFA in Creative Writing and her own experience as a mother to guide her. When she’s not working, you can find her chasing down her toddler, going on walks around the neighborhood, or watching reality TV.