This post is part of the series “Home Preschool 101.” It is a peek into how we do homeschool preschool.
Here are all the posts (links will go live as published)…
There are so many benefits to using open-ended building materials! Math skills, reasoning, spacial awareness, problem solving, creativity… the benefits go on and on!
We love building materials around here. K has something out on his train table nearly every day.
Here’s our favorites!
ZOOB building sets are so fun! We got K the 250 piece set for Christmas last year and we all had a great time building with them! There are different types of pieces that all connect together in different ways – making it so you can build some neat creations!
The box says for ages 6+ and the pieces can be a little tricky to snap together for little fingers. However, K was able to use them at three with a little help.
2. Classic Blocks
Our block set is a mishmash of hand-me-down blocks (some from when I was little!) and Jenga blocks. That doesn’t bother us though – they still work great for open ended building. A set of classic blocks is great for young and old preschoolers alike. Add some small toys and build a city!
3. Mega Bloks and Duplo
Friends of ours gave us a giant bin of Mega Bloks and K has gotten tons of use out of them since he was a toddler. They are super easy to build with, which is great for tiny little fingers. I, personally, think that Duplo blocks have more building options than Mega Bloks, and we do have a few of those, but since we already have so many Mega Bloks I never built up our stash.
4. Tinker Toys
These are another set that I played with when I was little! Hooray for hand-me-downs! Tinker Toys are so much fun – the perfect toy for your budding engineer.
5. Krinkle Blocks/Bristle Blocks
We grew up calling these neat building toys Krinkle Blocks and I didn’t realize that was even what they are actually called until I just looked them up. The set K plays with is once again one of my old toys, and it now considered a “collectable.” This is the exact set of Krinkles blocks we have. However, now you can find them as Bristle Blocks !
6. Wooden Train Set
Now, a when you think of building sets you might not consider a train set to be in the same category – but I think it is! You have to use creativity and problem solving to connect the different pieces into a functioning track. K has had his train set since he was about two and he loves it!
At 3 1/2, K has just recently had his first introduction to classic Lego. While we were on our trip last month to visit family, I had my younger brother fill a bag up with some from their big bin (that they don’t use anymore) – perfect to get K started with!
Now, both Lego and #8 K’nex, have really small pieces and are generally for older kids. So, use your own good judgement as to whether your preschooler is ready to use them as building materials.
K got a large set of K’nex for Christmas last year, but at that time he just couldn’t figure out how to put them together. So, I put them up on the shelf for a while. Just recently I decided to take them back out again and he loved them! Similar to Lego, they have lots of interesting little pieces that can make some pretty cool contraptions.
And if you’re looking for some more…
We love building materials in our house, so here’s a few more that we have on our wish list!
What are your favorite building toys?
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