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© Taylor Hengen Newman

Kaspar’s blocks are from a fabulous Canadian company, Natural Pod. They’re made of locally sourced wood, with a beeswax finish. (They smell yummy, too.) Kaspar usually builds block towers (and… “libraries”?) while I cook dinner in the evenings. I used to let him watch an episode of Thomas at that time so I could actually get dinner made – he starts to get tired, hungry and thus cranky around 5:30, which can translate to a lot of fussing and not much cooking happening – but that turned into a bad habit, for both of us. So instead of staring at a screen, Kaspar now zens out with his blocks, contentedly honing his fine motor skills (to him it’s just playing), and beaming with pride when I look over the half-divider-wall-thing between our kitchen and living room to admire his creations. Read the full story on