Four by Four Wooden Building Blocks

Lower Age: 3
Upper Age: 99
Price: $19.99
Year Added: 2021
Amazon URL:
Four by Four contents
Four by Four Wooden Building Blocks, by Haba, is a 2D or 3D design building game for ages 3+ that includes 16 wooden blocks in 4 different sizes and 3 different shapes that can be stacked in various conformations to create structures either from the manual or from the user's imagination.

This kit strengthens the user's spatial reasoning skills, design skills, problem solving skills, and critical and creative thinking skills through having the user build structures and analyze them to determine if they are stable and/or look like the structures given in the manual.

The instruction manual does not provide explicit instructions of how to build each structure, therefore challenging the users to analyze the picture of the provided structure and test several solutions to determine how to assemble the correct structure. This toy encourages spatial reasoning both in 2D and 3D using either provided templates or their own imaginations. Additionally, this toy encourages perseverance in determining how to best make structures stay together when they fall apart, as well as how to iterate their design. If the user does not build the structure correctly, they then can learn to troubleshoot, employing iterative design, and evidence based reasoning to pinpoint the error. The target age range of the toy will absolutely enjoy playing with the pieces and designing their own structures. 

Four by Four Wooden Building Blocks is a twist on the classic wooden-block building toy and an excellent medium for exposing younger users to engineering design principles in a fun and challenging way. 

Framework Categories

Spatial Reasoning
Engineering Thinking (EThink)

Moore, T.J., Glancy, A.W., Tank, K.M., Kersten, J.A., Smith, K.A., & Stohlmann, M.S. (2014). A framework for quality K-12 engineering education: Research and development. Journal of Precollege Engineering Education Research, 4(1), 1-13.