Blockaroo Magnetic Foam Builders from Blue Marble are soft, shaped sets of blocks with a magnetic component to them.

Thanks to the magnets concealed safely inside, Blockaroo builders easily connect together and they can even twist and spin. This functionality enables kids to engage in greater creative opportunities than traditional blocks. Why? Because the blocks can be built in a nonlinear pattern! Each piece is firm to the touch (meaning it is not too squishable), but is still soft. It also has a fuzzy outer shell — sort of reminiscent of a peach’s texture — which adds a nice tactile play opportunity.

Blockaroo builders come in a variety of sets with a variety of price points to match. For under $20, you can get the Helicopter set, the Speedboat set, or the Rocketship set. For under $30, you can get either the Roadster set or the Critter set. The sets that ring up at $50 or more are the Windmill set, the 50-piece set, or the 100-piece set.  This reviewer likes the Windmill set because it has 35 pieces with a couple of unique shapes, which makes it a great mid-range set at $49.95.

Each Blockaroo set comes with different block shapes and features, so that kids can build lots of different models. For example, the Windmill set has a piece that resembles a wind propeller, while the Roadster set has shapes that resemble wheels. All of the sets are compatible, so if you have more than one, kids can build up even more imaginative fun!

While kids traditionally play with blocks on a solid surface, like a table, Blockaroo builders can go to the backyard, to the beach, and to the bathtub. That’s right: They float in water, so Blockaroo can be fun for tub time or pool play, too!

Blockaroo sets are marketed for children between the ages of 18 months and 6 years as an early STEM toy. For tiny tots, they can use Blockaroo builders to learn shapes and sorting, or colors and counting. For preschoolers and kindergarteners, Blockaroo can introduce concepts of engineering, problem solving, and spatial reasoning.

However, kids can find benefits with Blockaroo if they are older than age 6, too! The foam builders can be a visual tool for older kids learning about architecture and geometric shapes; they are great props for science fair projects; and the magnetic “click” that you get from connecting the pieces, and the clicking sound when you rotate the pieces, can make Blockaroo pieces great for fidgeting.

While kids can follow the pattern from the set they get or let their imaginations run wild, Blockaroo can also be a great remote learning and home school tool. Provide a prompt, such as only using certain shapes or colors and see what creation results. Alternatively, have your kid read a book and then use the Blockroo builders to build something relevant to the story, then have them explain what they created (either orally or in writing) to work on handwriting or public speaking skills.

Parents and caregivers will love this final feature: Blockaroo sets are dishwasher safe! Put them in the top rack of a dishwasher to clean and sanitize them. One tip to share is to consider placing them in a delicates bag so that the pieces don’t fall to the bottom of the dishwasher.

All in all, Blockaroo magnetic foam builders are buoyant, boredom-busting blocks that are fun for budding builders!