This is another addition to the building and construction area! I prefer wooden toys that really do what they claim. I also enjoy the fact that the tools all work and are just right for young developing fine motor muscles of children ages 3-5. 🙂
This particular learning set is one the children could have worked on as a cooperative team to put together. Instead I put it together and that is how I judge whether a toy is a toy or an actual learning tool. When you are out searching the stores for toys that are also educational keep in mind that you should play with it first. If you take the time to play with toys/ educational materials before you give them to your child, you will have a much broader understanding of how versatile or not your purchase is. You will discover quite quickly if it is just a toy for entertainment purposes only, or if there are many learning experiences packed in the gem you found.
This wooden tool bench is perfect for two children to enjoy. Three could use this as a small group, however if tools are popular I have another possible solution.
I have a standing area for one or two children to explore a plastic version of tools as well. So even though plastic is not my first choice, this will do if tools are the popular item of the moment. When setting up extra materials that are popular with the children I always take into account their actual physical play patterns. This way I can set up interest areas based on where they would naturally explore. This may or may not work even with my considerations taken into account, but at least it is a good try for capturing their curiosity and encouraging deeper thoughts.
As you can see the children are once again able to engage in mathematical learning experiences that incorporate communication if working as a team or small group. Each is also exploring shapes, spacial relations, eye-hand coordination and developing fine motor skills while thoroughly enjoying themselves! 🙂