Get ready because I’m about to gush about our favorite toy of the year… and give one away! Have you heard of Build & Imagine? Every now and then a toy comes along that completely knocks your socks off, and that’s exactly what happened to us this summer. I’ve been dying to tell you about our latest discovery…
But first, let me back up a bit…
Those who know me in real life are fully aware that I am super-picky when it comes to toys. I honestly believe that children do not need oodles and oodles of toys. If my children do not play with something regularly, we donate it to someone who will. I have found that my children play more with less.
In our playroom, you find classic educational toys such as:
- Play kitchen
- Dress-up clothes
- A globe
- Building materials (wooden blocks, planks, LEGO, Magnatiles, marble run, train tracks)
- A wooden dollhouse
- Several puppets
- A handful of musical instruments
- Access to art supplies
- A CD player with audiobooks
- Overflowing book baskets
You’ll notice that there are no toys with batteries in the list above. (Believe me, there is plenty of noise and activity going on around here without adding in battery-powered toys with bells, lights, and whistles!)
As an educator, I try to surround my children with educational toys. Here’s what I look for:
- I want the toy to be high-quality and durable. It needs to withstand three rambunctious kiddos
- I want something that is easy to clean. (Bonus points if it cleans up easily!)
- The toy should appeal to both boys and girls
- It should also appeal to multiple age levels
- I love open-ended toys that can be used in a variety of ways
- I want a toy that my kids can’t resist, something that they will play with over and over again
- The best educational toys work on a host of skills including but not limited to:
- Verbal skills
- Early literacy skills
- Creativity and imagination
- STEM skills
- Social skills
- Collaboration/cooperative play
The reason why I am so excited to share our recent discovery with you all is because this product delivers on all of the above counts. It is a toy that has been played with every single day since it arrived on our doorstep. It is one that I know my children will play with for years to come. And it is a toy I will be purchasing for loved ones. It’s that good.
Ignite Creativity and Learning with Build & Imagine
*Disclosure: I received Build & Imagine: Malia’s Beach House at no cost in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review. As always, I only share products that I would use with my own family and those that I believe other families will enjoy. This product has skyrocketed to the top of our favorite toys list and today I’m going to share why.
So, what is Build & Imagine?
Build & Imagine offers a unique line of building toys that combine play, imagination, creativity, engineering, and fun.
Build & Imagine is an award-winning building set, but the building is only the beginning! Each Build & Imagine kit includes a set of colorful “StoryWalls”. These colorful panels are magnetic and children can use them to create unique and ever-changing dollhouses and story scenes.
Each kit also includes wooden magnetic dress-up dolls and props.
Build & Imagine is truly an incredible toy that packs a punch, as it combines several favorite educational activities:
- Dolls and dollhouses
The possibilities are endless with Build & Imagine! Children create new scenes and stories every single time they play. Here is a video of my 8-year-old gushing about Build & Imagine:
We have Build & Imagine’s Malia’s Beach House, but the following sets are also available:
Each Build & Imagine kit can stand on its own, or you can combine sets. In fact, my children have recently started using our Build & Imagine set with our beloved Magnatiles. The play has been amazing.
Who is Build & Imagine for?
Build & Imagine was created by award-winning toy designer and mom, Laurie Peterson.
Peterson founded Build & Imagine after noticing that most of the STEM toys in stores were marketed toward boys. Peterson took matters into her own hands and created a line of building sets featuring female characters with rich narrative details.
However, unlike many other STEM sets aimed at young girls, Build & Imagine is not guilty of pink-washing. These sets appeal to both boys and girls and three of the five current sets feature boy characters, too.
We have played with Build & Imagine daily since July. I have watched my children get completely lost in play with this set. I have an 8-year-old son, 6-year-old daughter, and 5-year-old son and they have all enjoyed this set.
The best part is that my children play nicely with each other when using Build & Imagine. They rarely argue when playing with this toy and that is priceless.
Build & Imagine ignites creativity and learning
This summer, when we weren’t outside, we were playing with Build & Imagine. It has saved me on sick days and rainy days. We even have packed it on two vacations!
It is refreshing to find a toy that is so educational and that appeals to everyone equally. (Plus, it is screen and battery-free!)
Here are just a few skills your children are working on when they play with Build & Imagine:
- STEM skills
- Problem solving
- Cooperation, collaboration, and social skills
- Verbal skills
- Early literacy and storytelling skills
- Creativity and imagination
When your children are using Build & Imagine, they aren’t just building. They are creating a story, complete with setting and characters and props. The play is fluid and changes each time. The possibilities are endless.
I think Build & Imagine would be a great toy for:
- Therapists (This would be a phenomenal tool for play therapy!)
This is one of those rare toys…
I know I’m gushing, but it’s not often that you find an educational toy that is so engaging for boys and girls of all ages. Build & Imagine is a toy that has already fueled hours of play and memory-making among my three.
To be honest, I love watching them play with this set. (Can you tell by all the videos?) There’s just something fantastic about watching your children so lost in play.
Guess what? I’m hosting a Build & Imagine giveaway!
This week, head over to Instagram to enter. I will be giving away Malia’s Beach House, a favorite of ours!
Are you looking for holiday gifts?
Can’t get enough STEM? Check out these posts:
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me: What is your favorite toy of the year? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, Scary Mommy, GeekMom, and many others. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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