Scott’s Toy Box: If You Build It
I wanted to put my TV in the middle of my room but like with all TVs there were lots of wires on the backside where anyone could trip over them or pull them out. The best way to lay my room out the way I wanted and to not make it a safety hazard was to get a screen that I could place around the TV. However, I couldn’t find one the right size on sale, so I had to make one. I went to Lowes, grabbed wood that would fit around it, and all the things I needed. I might not have built the prettiest screen for my room, but it does the job. In the toy box this month, I found three toys and games that require building things.
Build-It-Yourself Woodworking Kit
This woodworking kit from Lakeshore is a perfect way to get into woodworking. The kit comes with everything you need to make several projects: precut wood, a small hammer, wood glue, nails, sandpaper, and detailed instructions. You can even throw the instructions to the wind and create what you want. This is a perfect project for parents to spend time with their kids and it comes in a nice wooden tray for easy storage.
$40 | Lakeshorelearning.com
Mixing STEM with creativity, GraviTrax is a fun way to build and learn. Create marble tracks that use gravity, magnetism, and kinetics to move your marbles from the beginning to the end. The starter set comes with 153 pieces, instructions on how to put parts together and ideas for 5 different builds for your track, ranging from easy to hard. The instructions are all in illustrations so younger kids might need a little help in understanding them. There are also several add-ons you can expand your tracks.
GraviTrax $60, GraviTrax Pro $80 | Target
This game reminds me a lot of chess, but you can play with 2-4 players (although it works best as a two-player game). In this game you move workers around and build towers with the goal of getting one of your workers standing on the third level. Your workers can build a part of a tower on the level they are on or one level above or below them. Your workers must move first and then they can build. The challenge comes because your opponent is also building and you can accidently help him without meaning to. Once you get the hang of the game, there are cards of members of the Greek pantheon that give you powers that will enhance your game.
$26 | Amazon