June 19, 2011

Let's Build It! {Books and Toys}

Continuing with our "Let's Build It!" theme, there are two construction related toys that I would like to share with you - Moon Sand and Junior Tradesman. 

This was our first experience with Moon Sand and we're sold! It's a fantastic product. Little One has simply loved playing with it and has enjoyed it as an alternative to the lentils in his sensory construction site box. It's texture is quite different to sand and I haven't minded him playing with it in the house, as it cleans up quite easily.

It's a fairly pricey product, so I have been on the lookout for a good homemade recipe. I found a few, but have not tried any of these, so cannot guarantee the final outcome. The first recipe I found is at Skip to my Lou, and the next slightly different combination of the same ingredients is at irresistible ideas for play based learning. It seems really easy to make.

The set I purchased came with a mold to create a sidewalk and bricks. Little One is too young to use these, so big brother tested these out and they work really well.

Our next construction toy... Junior Tradesman Bricks. Little One absolutely loved playing with the cement mixture and wanted to put it into the back of his concrete mixer, which I thought was very appropriate and sweet :). He would have been equally happy with sand and water mixed together as pretend cement. Big One used the toy appropriately and created a wall, which dried overnight into a nice solid structure. When water is added, the cement dissolves and the bricks can be used again. This is a nice product, but definitely more suited to an older child, aged 6 plus.

With regard to books, we have been so lucky to have two fantastic titles on our shelf. Jerry Pallotta's The Construction Alphabet Book is amazing. Even though it is written for an older child, my little guy LOVES it! The art work is fantastic and Little One's knowledge (and mine) of different construction vehicles has soared. B is for Builder by June Sobel is another super book. The text is simple and it is perfectly suited for construction loving children aged two and up.

Some more "Let's Build It!" fun coming up. 
Till then...happy playing.


Joyfulmama said...

Oooh, I've been eyeing those Junior Tradesman sets for a while now and am so happy to hear that they really are as nice as they look! Will have to wait a while longer before my boy is ready for it, though, so moonsand sounds like a great alternative in the meantime. I think I'll try and make our own, so let me know if you've had a chance to test any of those recipes. The construction Alphabet book also looks like a winner - would love to have a look at your copy next time we visit. :-) Great post!! Xxx

km said...

I've been excited to try a homemade moon sand... I think the kiddos around here would enjoy it. I love all your construction ideas-- SOMEDAY we will try those too. THANKS FOR ALL YOUR CREATIVITIY and INSPIRATION!!!

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