Have a child that loves to build? Check out these 5 ways to build!
I absolutely love toys that build. Thank goodness my kids do too! I’ve found that it’s important with building activities to vary the materials kids use. Wood blocks are great, but they aren’t the only way to build.
I’m a big fan of exposing kids to different ways to build and to think beyond the block. Building activities are powerful ones – they promote problem solving, analytical thinking, and reasoning skills along with math and engineering skills.
Think beyond blocks with these 5 ways to build
I do love a simple set of wooden building blocks, but there are so many more ways to encourage children to build. Here’s a fun list of my 5 favorite ways to build with kids.
Stretch & Connect Builders
I love how different these are from blocks – they allow my son (3) to build really unique creations that he could never make otherwise.
Building a car? A robot? A monster? A fire truck with water pumping hose? These are just a few of the objects my son has come up with.
It’s a fun way to build that we are loving!
One of my favorite quick ways to build at home is with food! Well, packaged food. It’s so much fun to use items from the pantry to create really crazy towers. While I’m cooking dinner, I love to encourage my kids (3 years old and 22 months old) to build with our food.
Using non-traditional building materials like items from the pantry is a great way to improve kids’ spatial awareness – a fancy way of saying “improving how they see objects fitting together”.
Slot & Build Texture Shapes
Another great way to build and work on geometry: these Slot & Build Texture Shapes from Lakeshore. These flexible shapes have slots that connect together making them easy to use and build with.
It’s not only a great way to build, but also introduces shapes and textures to kids. My 22 month old especially loves these – they are perfect for her hands and ability level. She feels so successful building with them!
Finding the right shape combinations to make their creations balance is a great problem solving activity for my kids. The interesting sculptures they create are always fun to look at!
Toilet Roll Towers
It may seem silly, but toilet paper rolls and paper towels make awesome building materials. Quick tip: throw a piece of tape on the end if you’re worried about them unraveling.
I marvel at the different ways my kids can build with these simple materials. The cylinder shape makes for interesting towers and designs, plus I love the challenge of making it all balance.
What a great lesson in engineering!
Top-Secret Mirror Cubes
Talk about a unique way to build! Not only do these build interesting “towers” but they are functional too! The Top-Secret Mirror Cubes from Lakeshore are the coolest for any budding spy.
Using the guide book, my three year old loves following the building directions for creating cube combinations that can let him see around corners, over the sofa, or behind him. He’s always trying to spy something now!
Not only is this a great way to practice fine motor skills connecting the cubes together, but it’s a great direction following activity using the guide book. Or he can come up with a design on his own. Either way, it’s one awesome way to build!
What’s your favorite way to build?
Building activities are so much more than just creating with wooden blocks. I love going beyond the block to find great ways to build.
I also love using these three toys from Lakeshore (the Stretch & Shrink Connector, Slot and Build Texture Shapes, and Top-Secret Mirror Cubes) in our quest to find cool ways to build. Lakeshore toys are always unique and fun. They’re teacher designed and expertly tested – my kids go wild for them.
These three toys are all part of Lakeshore’s Gifts for Growing Minds catalog, full of more than 200 products for ages birth to 11. So many of these items are exclusive to Lakeshore and each carefully designed to spur a love of learning in kids.
$25 eGift Card to Lakeshore Learning