You all know that I am a big fan of Build and Imagine’s magnetic storywall sets to build language and strengthen skills for reading a writing.
Their newest set, “Creativity Castle” combines the best of their features to give us 3 additional magnetic characters (in addition to the 2 stand up characters, Dane and Willow) to encourage more dialogue and depth to the group’s actions. Also, all the storywalls are now magnetic so the accessory pieces can stick to any one of the themed construction pieces.
I “facetimed” with my 3 1/2 year-old twin grandchildren who always ask to “see my toys!” So, for the first time, I got out the magnetic storywalls and followed their directions as they told me where to put the “stickers” and the princesses, how to dress Willow, and what the dragon was doing. What a fun new way to use the Build and Imagine sets! After we had constructed our castle and added accessories, I sent a picture of our creation for the kids to see.
Here is my full review:
Every time I set out the creatively illustrated story walls from a new Build and Imagine set, I learn something, watching kids in action! I’m always amazed at how fast little hands are constructing their story and building while modifying the plot as they change the configuration of their building while taking the story to a new place. The new “Creativity Castle” pairs kids’ ever-changing creativity with a popular children’s theme, a castle, with stand-up figures, Dane and Willow ready to don costumes for knight, jester, archer, falconer and princess play. This new set includes an additional 3 magnetic characters which expanded the play and dialogue as they joined in the party around the banquet table, fed the horses hay (using a triangular roof piece!), made their clothes on a spinning wheel, and passed through the guarded hallway to a magical stream leading to a cave. The working drawbridge was a favorite as kids directed the play, “Put all the princesses in the castle!” The many rooms contribute to the rich language possibilities as kids took the story to the kitchen, bathroom, stable, spinning room, carnival, or dungeon tapping into groups of accessories–food, magic, clothes, weapons, animals, musical instruments, treasure and games–to enjoy a “root beer float” as one little girl said, and play some backgammon or entertain on her guitar. Parents were impressed, “I like the quality of these magnetic pieces,” and a teacher-mom wanted a set for her classroom. “It can be daunting for kids to write a story. Many kids need hands-on movement to get the story going and kids could even work with a partner.” This set inspires dynamic, action-packed story telling, inspiring kids to be creative, strong readers and writers!