STEM skills targeted: construction engineering
Recommended age 4-8
If you have a small child you’ll know how creative and absorbed they can be by pretend play. My little girl will sit in front of her doll house for hours, making up stories for the dolls and narrating their adventures.
Sometimes instead of using the doll house she’ll go out in the yard and make new play spaces from nature – mud and leaves can become a swimming pool, mansion, road or school.
These Build & Imagine playsets make use of the natural storytelling ability and creativity of children, encouraging them to build their own play scenes with special magnetic set pieces and making up their own stories as they go.
So many toys focus either on “educational” left brain activities such as science, math, construction etc. or creative artistic right brain activities, but this toy combines the two for an amazingly fun toy that will engage any child.
Kids first use basic engineering principles and problem solving skills to use the magnetic pieces to build a scene and keep it standing. Then they let their imaginations run riot, telling stories with the magnetic characters and accessories.
All the sets can be combined to create bigger and more complex scenes and scenarios.
What makes Build & Imagine playsets different from other building sets is that the detailed pre-illustrated story walls provide a jumping off point to inspire kids and encourage storytelling in a range of different settings – you don’t just have to build a house, it could be a marine rescue center, beach hut or apartment building!
The Marine Rescue Center includes 15 storywall panels that can be put together in different ways to create a house, recue ship or tower. Each panel comes with a different illustration including operating theatre, dolphin pool, storage room, rescue jet and so on.
As well as the storywall building panels, the kit includes a Thea doll and 30 magnetic accessories for storytelling and imaginative play.
This is the most popular Build & Imagine set with over 90% 5 star reviews on Amazon. Kids just love playing with these building kits, the pieces are great quality and they help to develop construction, creative and verbal skills.
Malia’s Beach house includes 17 story wall building panels, 40 magnetic accessories and Malia and Skyler dolls
This is the largest building set currently available from Build & Imagine and can also be used together with other sets to create bigger and more complex constructions.
These story construction kits are open-ended so there’s no “right” way to build. Kids can come up with their own designs and the pieces can be organized in dozens of different ways.
In this play set, Anna and Ethan are trying to get the pets from their local shelter ready for adoption. Take photos of each pet, dress them in funny costumes, and arrange scenes to paint or photograph.
This kit includes Anna and Ethan dolls, 4 wooden pets, 10 dual-sided story walls including a painter's studio, photo lab, photo studio, adoption center, grooming station and photo lab and over 40 magnetic accessories.
Kids can really let their imaginations take control with this versatile multi-way play set. Create your own plays using the dolls as actors, dressed with whacky accessories and in a variety of different set designs. Helps to develop storytelling skils, creative thinking and spatial reasoning.
Set includes 2 wooden dolls, 7 double-sides story panels that include a spooky forest, pirate cove, a castle, royal bedroom and more, and more than 50 magnetic accessories.
This is the smallest and cheapest Build & Imagine set but still has loads of potential for hours of play. It’s a good choice if you’re on a budget, you want to expand on one of the other sets, or you want to try out the toy before you buy one of the bigger sets.
This set comes with 10 storywall building panels including a lifeguard stand, a café, a surf shop and a sandcastle, as well as Emily and Lucas dolls and various magnetic accessories including Iggy the surfing dog.
This is a really gender neutral building and storytelling set so is great for both boys and girls.
The quality of the pieces is great and the magnets are strong so your children won’t get frustrated with building as can happen with some cheaper sets.