CodyBlock – creative wooden building blocks by Oscar Lhermitte


What was your inspiration for your creative wooden building blocks Cody Block?

The design inspiration for Cody Block was to create “fun little toy”. Not just a learning tool, but create a wooden toy that revolves around a univers (here, the city). It was important also to create a character (Cody) and give it a face so that it is not just a car, but a living thing.

We took our inspiration in classic wooden toys like Kapla, Lego or Brio but also in weird/quirky Japanese toys.

Why is Cody Block especially suited for children as a wooden toy?

When designing Cody Block, we looked at the general guidelines for designing things for children. Since it is suited for children aged 3 to 9, we made the wooden block 40 mm x 40 mm x 160 mm. 40 mm is a dimension a 3 years old child can take with one hand, and it is too big to fit in the mouth.

Each class of City Block has a specific command, and we therefore gave them a unique colour, shape and symbol. This means that children understand that each Block has a specific function. When playing with the children, the parents can either ask the child to pick up a block by calling it by it function (turn right), its colour (yellow) or its shape (pointy).

There are no writing too, only symbols, so children do not need to know how to read to understand the principles of the game.

Last but not least, each upper part of the City Block has a unique shape. This allows the children to easily identify them, but it also forces them to only place the block in the upright position. The blocks cannot stand the other way round. The reason for this is that, otherwise, a “turn left” arrow would become a “turn right” arrow, and would confuse the children.

How children respond to your creative wooden toy Cody Block?

We have tested Cody Block with several children and it is very surprising to see how they quickly understand the principles of it and start playing with the blocks & Cody. They love to see it turn and reach its home.


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