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Artistry in Alphabet Blocks

Classic Early Childhood Play
What early childhood toy is more classic than wooden alphabet blocks? Long before they are ready to learn the letters and numbers on the blocks, children engage in block play. They “fill and spill”, dropping blocks into a container, then dumping them out, again and again. They arrange blocks into a row. Progress to stacking and knocking down. Incorporate blocks into their imaginative play.
Progressive Skill Building
Their play builds fine motor skills from grasp and release to eye-hand coordination and controlled placement required for stacking. Some alphabet blocks feature simple pictures that develop vocabulary when an adult or older child supply the name of the objects. Gradually the child will associate the word with the object and begin to identify the objects by name. Only later do children begin recognizing specific letters and numerals and later still that they combine letters to make words.
Wooden alphabet blocks come in many forms, from smooth cubes with printed letters to cubes with embossed letters on the ends and printed ones on the sides. On some the letters are carved. Blocks handmade from natural hardwood stand out. My favorite are made in the United States of sustainably harvested native hardwoods.
Alphabet Blocks in Multiple Languages
Uncle Goose in Grand Rapids, Michigan, hand makes alphabet blocks in 23 languages, from the most common to the esoteric. These 1 3/4 inch basswood cubes are true artisan blocks designed by creative artists and made by master craftspeople. Four smooth sides with vibrant graphic designs reflecting the culture of the language and two with deeply debossed letters make every set an invitation to cultural awareness.
Upper and Lower Case 
English alphabet blocks are available in both upper case and lower case sets. Children may learn lower case letters more quickly than upper case because the ascenders, as in b, d, h, and t, and descenders, as in g, j, p, q, and y, make the letters easier to identify. Capital letters, by contrast, lack such visual distinctiveness. While playing with alphabet blocks in both cases, children gradually develop an interest in identifying the letters, matching upper and lower case, arranging blocks in alphabetical order, and beginning to spell their names and other simple words.
Alphabet Blocks for Inclusion
Committed to inclusive play, Uncle Goose also offers alphabet and number blocks in Braille and Nemeth math code for the blind and alphabet blocks in ASL, American Sign Language. Indispensable to children who will be learning Braille, the blocks also introduce Braille to the sighted, making children more aware and socially competent. The same applies to children learning ASL. For hearing children, learning to sign the alphabet reenforces competency and bridges gaps between the hearing and the deaf.
 Visually Appealing
Uncle Goose alphabet blocks are visually appealing, whether artfully displayed on a table or waiting in a basket for someone to come along and explore the possibilities. Designed for children three years old and up, these exquisite blocks are made for play. Beautiful alphabet blocks encourage children and adults alike to play, arranging blocks, matching letters, spelling words, whatever brings joy. The time spent playing together fosters attachments and makes fond memories.
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 PlayopolisToys – for the diverse needs of the citizens of play
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Sharing What We Learn From You

Because children learn while playing, our goal is to offer toys that invite open-ended play and encourage self-directed learning among all citizens of play. Hearing how much your child delights in playing with something you purchased from PlayopolisToys makes our hearts sing. We like that feeling. If something does not meet your expectations, we need to know. We strive to build positive relationships and provide responsive customer service. We’re here to work with you.

We want every child to experience the joys of play and to learn to play comfortably with others. Inclusive play brings children of varying abilities together, fostering awareness and respect for differences. When you share an alternative or adaptive use for a toy we sell, you create a ripple effect reaching farther than you know. We appreciate you making the effort and like sharing what we’ve learned. Let’s build a community of shared ideas and information.

Remember the expression “I’ll be there with bells on?” Except for jingle bells threaded onto the laces of toddler’s shoes, I’ve never seen anyone show up anywhere with bells on. Have you? Oops, I think I’m dating myself by mentioning laces on little kids’ shoes.

boy wearing jingle band crown


That could change with Jingle Band, four large sleigh bells attached securely to a colorful web band with Velcro closures. The adjustable band makes attaching around wrists or ankles simple, and as Anne Ward found, multiple bands joined end to end easily encircle a head. She reports her grandson “loves to jingle by shaking his head (no!).”

An orientation and mobility teacher attaches one just above the tip of the cane for beginning cane users. Let’s celebrate all the ways Jingle Band enlivens spirits with their joyful jingles. And please keep those ideas coming. Everyone has something valuable to share.


PlayopolisToys – for the diverse needs of the citizens of play

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PlayopolisToys Celebrates Inclusive Play

kids + Magformers


Play is any activity that gives us pleasure and so captures our attention that we become one with the process. The act of playing gives us a sense of well-being and accomplishment. Our worries melt away, and we’re enriched by the experience.

Play is essential. Interacting with toys that invite open-ended, self-directed play, children develop skills and learn at their own pace. Play also builds bridges among children with different abilities. PlayopolisToys values inclusive play and sells developmental, distraction, and sensory toys that meet the diverse needs of all Citizens of Play.

Explore PlayopolisToys. You’ll find kid-approved toys endorsed by professionals and parents alike for their proven benefits.

 PlayopolisToys – for the diverse needs of the citizens of play

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What’s in a Name?

Recently a friend asked why we changed the name of our business from Playworks to PlayopolisToys. She also wanted to know what our new name means to us. When I told her, she insisted that everyone coming to our website would like to know too. So, here’s the scoop…

We wanted a name we could trademark, one that kept the emphasis on play. Polis refers to the city states of ancient Greece. Think of Athens and its exceptional creativity in drama, literature, and poetry, architectural design, mathematics, and philosophy. We liked the idea of creating an inclusive place for all citizens of play, whether children or children at heart, including those with special needs. Children delight in play and learn through play. And adults who value play do too. At PlayopolisToys, we provide citizens of play with engaging toys that delight the senses and invite exploration and discovery.

When we speak of play, we’re referring to open-ended experiences that emerge naturally from a child’s interest. It’s self directed, non-scripted, and creative. When children become engaged in play and are allowed time and space to “take it to the limit,” they grow their minds and their bodies, becoming creative and imaginative problem solvers. They develop cognitive, language, emotional, and social competencies as well as fine and gross motor skills. And they enjoy the process. They’re excited about what they’ve learned and eager to learn more.


PlayopolisToys – for the diverse needs of the citizens of play

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Why Buy Toys at


PlayopolisToys aims to save our customers both time and money. We price our toys competitively and offer periodic specials, thus saving you money. The toys at PlayopolisToys appeal to children and invite the open-ended, self-directed play that builds skills. Safe and durable, the toys have proven value.

Our website provides extensive information about the toys we sell and how each supports child development and provides healthy play experiences. Further information on choosing toys and the benefits of play is available through our blog posts. This saves you time when you’re looking for appealing toys for the children in your life. Have questions about a toy? Call 877.579.9300 toll-free or email We’re here to help.

We know all children learn differently and offer toys with universal design to maximize sensory awareness as well as gross and fine motor, cognitive, language, and social skills development among children with diverse abilities. These toys also offer distraction and multi-sensory stimulation, particularly beneficial to children with special needs.

PlayopolisToys sells toys that encourage children to play, discover what happens as a result of their actions, and build skills. Finding toys that appeal to the sense of touch is as easy as entering “tactile toys” in the search box. Or pull down the By Type menu and click on Tactile.

Play is essential to the well-being of all children. It’s how they learn. Toys build bridges among differently-abled children. Inclusive play reduces social isolation among children with special needs and increases awareness and acceptance of diverse needs. Whatever your toy needs, PlayopolisToys likely has something to offer.


 PlayopolisToys – for the diverse needs of the citizens of play