State Library of South Australia logo To be a child
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

Alphabet blocks
Title : Alphabet blocks Alphabet blocks View More Images
Add To My SA Memory
Source : [Alphabet blocks sets] [toy]
Format : Toy
Dimensions : 50 x 50 x 20 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
The State Library of South Australia is keen to find out more about SA Memory items. We encourage you to contact the Library if you have additional information about any of these items.
Copyright : Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

A set of 24 wooden blocks with coloured illustration of animals and letter of alphabet on reverse, for example E=Egyptian donkey, N=Newfoundland [dog]. U (Unicorn) and V (Vampire bat) are given on the same block and X is shown on the same block as Y=Yak, but no animal is given.

The blocks are worn with some loss of paper, and one block is split, evidence of constant use by the donor family.

Alphabet blocks were conceived by the philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) who suggested children could use them to build words. They are now a classic toy and come in many forms and designs. Apart from their potential value in familiarising children with the letters of the alphabet, the blocks can be used for building towers aiding in the development of the child's hand/eye coordination and spatial concepts.
Further reading :

Burton, Anthony. Children's pleasures: books, toys and games from the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, London: V & A Publications, 1996, pp. 42-43 [Block toys]

Goldstein, Jeffrey H. (ed) Toys, play, and child development, Cambridge [England]; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994

Hewitt, Karen. Educational toys in America, 1800 to the present, Burlington, Vt.: Robert Hull Fleming Museum, University of Vermont, c1979, pp. 53-63 [Alphabet toys]

Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :



About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes


My SA Memory


What's on