I wanted to say a quick word about blocks. I think blocks are one of the best--if not THE BEST--childhood tools available. And I have to say, that I think Dr. Drew's blocks are among the best.
You can see Scotty many years ago with one of his Dr. Drew block creations. He used to make structures like this all the time when he was little. You can see this one is a sky-scraper type with little men in each cubical and a farm fence around the base with various animals corralled.
This takes a lot of imagination, small motor coordination, planning and time! It develops so many parts of a child's growth and is really a pretty cheap tool.
Disclaimer-I am not affiliated with Dr. Drew in any way. Now, let's look at the actual cost of this phenomenal tool. 72 blocks in a nice cloth storage bag--and these are high quality, nicely finished beechwood [hardwood] for around $60. This is a nice starter set and that is what Scotty has in the picture. We ended up adding planks for around $30. So, for about $100 we had a set of tools that can be used for years and years, by many, many children spanning more than one generation.
When I bought them they were cheaper, but even at $100. Let's say you have 3 children. That is $33 each, and figure they will play with them [conservatively] for 3 years each, that is $11 per year. If they play with them one day out of three, that is about 3 cents per day. And after all that playing, they will be just as good for your grandchildren!
Our blocks have been played with my our children [turning into catapults and domino runs in later years], our nieces and nephews, little friends that visit and now [still good as new, even the drawstring bag is in good shape] we have two grandchildren expected this year. In a couple of years this second generation will get hours and hours of creative play time.
So, whether you choose Dr. Drew blocks, or Melissa and Doug, or some other type of wooden block, know that you are providing tools that will give you a high return for the $$. I think this is a childhood tool that is worth the investment.