Over the next few weeks I'll be posting some holiday gift ideas, mostly for kids because the man in my life mostly wants obscure music CDs and a list of those is unlikely to be helpful to anyone else :)
First up is this set of Korean alphabet blocks, Korable Block.
I know I'm biased, but I think the Korean alphabet is incredible. It was invented in 1444 by the Korean king Sejong and consists of vowels and consonants and is basically phonetic. This means that unlike character-based languages like Chinese it is fairly simple to learn to read and write Korean.
(As I found out during my two years studying Korean in college, understanding what you're reading is of course a whole other matter.)
Korable Block was invented by Si-Yeon Min, a father, to help his son study the Korean alphabet in a fun way. These lovely blocks are handmade made in Michigan by Uncle Goose.
You can arrange the blocks to make over 120 common Korean words like numbers, days of the week, foods, body parts, etc... Below on the left I spelled the Korean word for "door" and the word for "one" is on the right.
The full Korable block set ($41.50) comes with four blocks, a wooden tray to house them in, a booklet containing different words you can make, and a signed artist card. There is also an option of just purchasing the blocks themselves ($17.50).
I like this product a lot. E doesn't know how to read Korean yet (we're working on English first) but I think these blocks will be a fun tool when he starts to learn Hangul. And they're so lovely that I think I'll keep them out for display on my coffee table until then.
The only improvement I would suggest would involve price. I understand that making small batches of quality toys inherently costs more but I wish that difference between the blocks alone and the full set wasn't so quite as much. I would like to get a few of the sets for some of my nieces and nephews but sadly my Christmas budget won't stretch that far.
All in all, Korable Block is a great gift for children in your life interested in learning Korean or adults who love design or Korea or both :)
Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary Korable Block set for the purposes of writing a review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Labels: Korean, shopping