An inspiring and engaging Construction Set for open-ended creation or guided recreation!
The nuts and bolts provide an ideal fine motor exercise. The strength, dexterity and coordination of the child's fingers increases as he or she works to fasten the nuts and bolts to connect the various pieces. The Construction Set does feature a wooden flat-head screwdriver that can be used to turn the bolts. Alternatively the child can simply grasp the two pieces and twist them together. Both methods encourage fine motor development (and provide a chance to introduce the practical life mantra of 'lefty loosey, righty tighty'!).
The Construction Set features plenty of wooden bolts in multiple lengths (these are colour coded!). It also offers a range of nuts in both flat, square pieces and larger cube pieces. The set also includes round wooden dowels (which make the perfect 'wheels' on a range of vehicles) as well as wooden planks in multiple lengths.
The child can design his or her own creative constructions by joining the individual pieces in a variety of configurations. When the child is comfortable with connecting the pieces to imaginatively create constructions then he or she might progress to the more cognitively challenging step of recreating the designs included in the instruction booklet. This booklet displays several different vehicles and creations which the child can attempt to piece together. The process of observing the illustrations in order to recreate the construction is actually quite intellectually demanding - it incorporates a range of problem-solving processes and encourages the 'mind and hand' to work harmoniously together.
There are enough pieces for two or more children to work together. Each child can focus on building his/her own individual model or the group can work together collaboratively towards a common goal!
The nature of the nuts and bolts means that the creations can have moving parts. This introduces an element of mechanical machinery that seems extremely appealing to young children. For instance, the construction shown below on the right hand side was (according to its creator) a 'helicopter'. The little mechanic proudly showed me how he could rotate the 'chopper blades' (in this case the helicopter featured blades at both the top and the bottom - very futuristic!).
The set is beautifully presented in a wooden box with a clear, perspex lid. The lid slides easily into place to ensure that the pieces are visible but neatly contained! The box itself measures approximately 31cm x 31cm with a depth of 5.5cm. The beautiful and orderly appearance of the box allows you to immediately include this material into the child's prepared environment. There is no need for an extra step of arranging a specific presentation basket or tray, it is fully self-contained and ready to go!
The box is divided into several different compartments to promote a sense of order and organisation. The different pieces of the set can be separated into their own compartment for presentation purposes. This makes it easier for the child to identify and select the necessary piece to continue his or her construction. When the child has finished his/her work then the compartmentalised box makes it easier for the child to successfully pack away the materials. The sliding perspex lid acts as a 'self-correcting mechanism' for this packing up process; if the pieces have not been carefully sorted and replaced then they will not nestle into the compartments and the lid will therefore not fit!