At a certain age, a little boy's affinity for construction toys joins with his nascent pretending skills and the result is some pretty entertaining play -- for both parents and kids alike. The little tots would be fine in the backyard with some cardboard boxes, but providing him with "tools" to "make" something? He just might build you a castle. There are more than a dozen play workbenches on the market -- our children have the My First Craftsman Work Bench, which overwhelmed this busy mother at first with its 68 pieces. Eventually, however, the workbench found a home in the corner and it has become easy enough to throw all the pieces in the lower shelf: plastic toy bolts, screws, screwdrivers, washers, and motorized drills and even a plastic piece of wood with a cut in it for the fake plastic saw. The set comes with an adorable set of safety goggles, and the kids love wearing them while they describe what they are building in imaginative detail. That is, when they're not fighting over them. What I love about the construction toys is that when we have playdates, who do you find playing with them? The girls. For role-playing construction fun, check out this playset from The Land of Nod, featuring wooden pieces and non-toxic paint.
So, maybe you are having one of those days. You could go nearly a dozen places, but none of them sounds very appealing. You dread the production that is getting all your family and associated gear in the car and to your destination. Your kid might ha... read more
A cardboard box is just that at least until you become a parent and being brainstorming about all the wonderful structures it can become. In its most primitive state, push in the flaps of the top of the box and it can be turned on its side to become ... read more