When I walked into a first grade classroom with Wonderhood’s 2 newest playsets the kids begged me to pick them for their “smart play” time! Boys and girls settled in on the rug to start constructing the new Town House, complete with Layla’s activity book. Some kids began construction immediately and some started to read the activity book as we engaged in conversation about their favorites–color, food, song, subject or animal and goals. Layla’s favorites revolved around plants and biology as we read that she wanted to be a landscape architect and build a floating garden. These journal entries sparked conversation, “What’s a landscape architect?” “What’s a water garden?” Quickly they built the house using the kitchen, front door/hall, bedroom, playroom, bunk room, roof and bathroom, revising their design as they went. My clever students even used the journal as a wall! Collaborative play is fun to watch, and listen to, “Can I put mine to yours?” “That’ll work! This is her porch.” The design challenges are story problems, such as grandma is visiting and uses a wheelchair, Can you design everything on one floor? I like that there is space in the journal for kids to record their own ideas which are a story in the making. Wonderhood Toys knows how to pair physical construction and language building all in one fantastically fun set!

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