When I spotted Plus Plus via blog reviews, I thought N might like to try some. I bought some with the idea that they’d be an alternative building material to Duplo. Much better sized for taking on trips away, and more versatile for doing other activities given their size.
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What is Plus Plus?
Plus Plus are fabulous jigsaw shaped pieces, made from toxic free recyclable plastic, developed in Denmark in the 1980s. They come in lots of different colours. You can make flat or 3D shapes by slotting them together, and create either freeform sculptures or try following the picture guides.
What age is Plus Plus aimed at?
The manufacturer suggests the blocks are suitable for age 5 to 12 years. I think that’s a bit high, maybe 4 to 7 is more realistic in my experience of N’s interest. However, as an adult I couldn’t resist having a go.
They’re quite fiddly for little fingers, but they have a lot of benefits for children.
- Good for improving fine motor skills
- Patience in being able to slot the pieces together and match up the different pieces to create the shapes you want. (N got annoyed when he couldn’t do it easily)
- Problem solving. I like thinking and planning what we’re going to make as I think it takes some planning, but N’s quite happy to sit for a few minutes and try to put them together in the way he wants.
It did take a while for him to get a bit more proficient at having a bit more patience and sitting down for longer to use it properly. But being a bit younger than the age range, that wasn’t surprising.
This was his attempt getting it out to play with.
Instead, I decided that we’d use the Plus Plus for colour sorting activities. I love toys that has different uses and Plus Plus can be used in lots of different ways.
Colour sorting with Plus Plus
N’s pretty good on his colours (well, the basic ones anyway) and there’s a good range in every Plus Plus pack (they also now stock pastel colours, which are really pretty and would be perfect for Easter or summer patterns), enough to do some decent colour sorting. We have the 250 pack, but there’re now different size packs available, as well as specific sets depending on how much creating you want to do.
When doing colour sorting activities we tried different methods. But we needed a bit of prep first, using the below.
- Egg box
- Sharpies* (or other felt pens)
- Paint colour strips (there’s a never ending free supply of these in DIY shops, and lots of different activities they can be used for)
- Plus Plus*
First we coloured in the egg boxes in the colours that the Plus Plus are, 1 colour per egg space. These were to be our colour slots.
We chopped up the relevant colour strips to match the colours. This was N’s favourite part – bring out a pair of scissors and he’s in his element. Unfortunately he chopped willy nilly so I had to grab the remaining colour strips back before he demolished the lot!
I asked N to match the coloured papers to the same colours slots in the egg box.
Then we sorted the Plus Plus while talking about the colours. He does get pink and purple muddled up, but a lot of the time I don’t know whether he’s doing it on purpose or not!
My nicely ordered colours didn’t stay neat for long before N decided to hack away at the egg boxes again, but it was a fun activity which could take as little or as long a time as you wanted. Next time we get it out, I might try and draw out some designs for us to follow and make.
Plus Plus is definitely more versatile than for just building and creating figures and patterns especially if you’re using it with younger children. You can buy Plus Plus in different size packs with prices ranging from £5 to £34.50.
Have your children ever played with Plus Plus blocks?