Blocks are basic additions to any toy chest, but the colors of most blocks are anything but simple: Garish, overly bright blocks abound, as do blocks that squeak, blocks that crinkle, and even blocks that sing little electronic songs. Good solid wooden blocks are always appropriate (after all, wood blocks were apparently Frank Lloyd Wright's first inducement towards architecture), but perhaps a bit boring as a baby gift. So we were pleased to discover Jon Stevenson's subtle black and white design.
Made of wood and decorated with non-toxic paints in straightforward and bold pictures and fonts, there's a full alphabet in the bag. Plus, babies apparently love the strong contrast of black and white objects, so a good gift for even a newborn to look at and enjoy. A bag full of blocks is $27, available at Stitch.