Thinking Outside the Wooden Block

Tegu Tower

From peacocks and ostriches to Monsters, Inc. and Imperial Starfighers, Scott Franson doesn’t limit his imagination when he gets his hands on Tegu Blocks–whether it’s at home or in the classroom.

A graphic design professor at BYU Idaho, Franson introduced our magnetic wooden blocks to his BFA students as a case study in design thinking. Recently, one student Brant Day sat down with his teacher to explore the simple and curious world of Tegu Blocks (they even constructed a series of gravity-defying towers). Check out some excerpts below and listen to the full audio here.

Scott on why he brought Tegu into the classroom

One of the things we want our graphic design students to do is to make sure that they’re making decisions that are based on an idea or concept […] One of the things that I think Tegu did really well is that they solved an initial problem […] They noticed there was wood available, but that there were a couple of complications with wood such as deforestation, etc […] In terms of design thinking, one of the things they were able to do was address [the problem] “if we use wood, what are we going to do?” So, they put in their business model to rebuild the resources they were using. For every tree that they cut down, they would plant so many trees.

Scott on the addictive and surprising nature of Tegu

Every time we have company over, this is what we get out–we get out the Tegu blocks. At first everyone’s always like “Oh…blocks” […] You make that [Scott makes a horse] and then all the kids are like WOAH! Then they’re super excited about playing with them and build thing after thing after thing. After a while, they will build a tower and build it super tall. This is the kind of toy that is designed well and designed to last.

Brant on why Tegu Blocks serve as an example of design thinking

When you bring out the Tegu blocks, there’s no set direction. There’s no right or wrong way to do this; it’s an exploration. I think that’s what’s so powerful about Tegu […]

All Things Design, Technology |

Mobility: Tegu Re-invents the Wheel

Well, the entire team at Tegu has been waiting for this moment for quite some time: Mobility has launched! And yes, not long after attempting to re-invent the wooden block, we’ve also done our best to re-invent the wheel, too.

Tegu’s Magnetic Wooden Wheels attach to any block in the Tegu universe, turning every block creation into a mobile masterpiece. Seriously, it’s fun to throw two wheels on one cube and zip it across the floor. It’s also fun to get acquainted with our newly packaged runabouts: Dart, Hatch, Maddy Micro and Riley Roadster. Dart and Hatch make up the two newbies of the Mobility Compacts family (block building + wheels) while Maddy and Riley constitute the Mobility Silhouettes (collectible sleek profiles + wheels). They’re available this holiday season in limited quantities.

Wanna get your hands on your own mobile masterpiece? Click here to buy now.

Wanna see exactly how the wheels work? Enjoy the Mobility video below.

All Things Design, Play Value of Toys, Technology, Uncategorized |

Unscripted Play : A Healthy Alternative

Hello, Tegu Readers!

 

As you know, a child’s educational and cognitive development is a topic of interest for Tegu, and we truly believe (and research has shown) that block play is highly beneficial for such development. As such, we’d like to comment on a fascinating article from the New York Times.

 

Hardcore gamers!

Hardcore gamers!

The topic of choice today is the overwhelming presence of technologies in our lives and its potential to permanently alter the way our brains function. This New York Times article, “Your Brain on Computers, Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price”, likens the stimulation provided by computers to that of food or sex, essential but potentially harmful and counterproductive when consumed without moderation. The most noticeable symptom of a computer overdose is the inability to fully enjoy the moment, and while that seems easy enough to shrug off, think again.  Consider how many times you have felt compelled to interrupt time with loved ones to respond to the alert sounding from your cell phone or have slept with your phone/computer in or within reach of your bed. Our culture’s use of technology trains us to consistently multitask but we are then unable to stop multitasking. The stimulation of a new alert, whether it be an email or text, provokes an addictive rush of excitement and often an immediate prioritization. Technology is rewiring our brains, for better and for worse, and we need to proceed with caution. We would like to focus attention on what we consider to be the most striking and contemplation-worthy segment of the article: the effect on children. The brains of children are still developing and already tend to be impulsive so it seems only logical that a culture of constant digital stimulation is tied to an inability to concentrate on individual tasks. Parents need to work hard to ensure a balance for their child or risk reducing the child’s ability to perform well academically, as the ability to focus and concentrate is crucially important inside the classroom.

 

A constant bombardment of technology has become the norm and educated consumers need to stand their own ground. Ways to remedy this situation are putting your cell phones on silent during family time, allocating time for minimal digital intrusion, and encouraging individual organic play over a high-tech babysitter. We really support these behaviors in the hopes of raising highly-productive, imaginative, and eager-to-learn children. Play away!

 

To check out some of these blocks in action…. Lily Builds A Robot!
Original design created entirely by Tegu Honduras team!

Original design created entirely by Tegu Honduras team!

Children's Play Time, Play Value of Toys, Technology |