A new mission has arrived for Agents Z, T & R from BigJigs Play Patrol for the month of August. They are always so excited to see what’s inside the box! The contents did not disappoint and we have been loving the great quality selection of wooden toys that were provided. First up, they decided to try out the wooden construction set.
Each toy comes labelled for a specific child, but having three children together of the same gender and similar ages (they are each 1.5 years apart) we tend to share when we find toys that are durable and appeal well to all three. The wooden construction set led it self really nicely to sharing and team work. There are 51 pieces including nuts, bolts and wooden pieces of various shapes.
We set everything out on the tuff spot to keep it all contained in one space and to let the children see at a glance what was available.
At first all three boys were playing separately with the tools within the space, exploring the materials on their own levels:
- Manipulating the screws and pieces of wood to explore how they work
- Creating patterns with shapes and colour
- Purposefully creating the representation of an object
With the younger boys who initiated their play on the more basic level, I found that with support from me playing alongside and talking about what we were doing they were able to advance their play to the more purposeful level. Mr Z immediately engaged with the construction set on that level, so I also used him to model some of the building and to help focus his younger brothers on a team build.
I also love to see Mr T helping his little brother. We’ve used a lot of the “forced alternatives” technique with him in speech therapy (offering two choices) so now with this type of toy he will take two pieces and offer the choice to Mr R in the same way he has seen done so many times! It’s great that they are working together to help each other develop their skills.
After spending some time making their own weird and wonderful improvised creations (mainly vehicle based), We decided to work together on making the helicopter model which is shown on the pack. By working as a team we were able to practise plenty of turn taking, as well as listening and looking skills. Mr Z was in charge of the actual construction and the younger boys were given simple tasks like “find me a blue screw”,”find a wooden block” this helped them practise their listening skills for two step commands in a fun way.
This set is lots of fun and appealed really well to all the boys. I do love seeing them play with construction toys and seeing how their ideas and skills develop over the time the more they practise with a particular set. It’s lovely to see their proud faces showing off their creations too!
The possibilities are almost endless with construction toys. I loved how Mr T decided to build letters and numbers from the wooden construction set. We’ve done similar with laminated straight and curved pieces (See our post on working on pre-writing skills for some examples)
This is his number 4. This activity can then be made into a group activity by making up quizzes for each other and getting them to guess the letters and numbers that have been made, or setting a challenge to make certain letters.
Of course this type of toy is also a great fine motor activity, with all that twisting and screwing helping to strengthen little hands.
The Bigjigs wooden construction set is available for £ 22.49 for 51 pieces and comes in a handy storage barrel. We would recommend it as a great toy for any child 2-6 and a great option for group play with siblings of different ages.
For more wooden toy suggestions you might be interested in our other Bigjigs posts: