Toy of the month – September 2015

September is always a wonderfully special month here in Australia, as we celebrate Father’s Day. This Father’s Day, we gave our Papa ( a throw back still from Germany)  a lie in, breakfast in bed and cooked him a yummy late brunch. Plus he was spoilt with lots of tools, handmade cards and chocolates!

We also presented him with 2 awesome toys that he could share with the boys, “Buildme wooden toys“. He was blown away by the “Build Me” boxes he received and a week or two later we had a chance on a rainy Spring afternoon, to construct them.

Buildme Wooden toys toys are an awesome brand established in Melbourne and started by a dad, Darryl Thompson, whose past experience as a shipwright in the Royal Australian Navy and later as a graphic designer, has enabled him to develop the wooden toys from concept and design through to production. I adore that he is trying to bring back some time honoured traditions and to teach children life long skills especially in this techy age.

I don’t talk too much about the boys Papa as he is a much more private person, but there are many things I could say about him, all gushing of course! One, is that he loves to teach our boys how to build, create and make things with their hands. Jasper’s first screwdriver was presented to him at 22 months! The hardware store woman was rather shocked to say the least.

The boys’ Papa is an engineer so it comes with the territory of course. The boys adore working with their Dad, and I knew it would be such a special experience for all three to build and create some of their favourite vehicles together.

I was there to photograph it all and just stood back to watch them make wonderful memories together.

It was Jasper’s turn first to build the “Monster” and then Hudson’s turn with the “Short”.

All you need to build the Father and Son toys are wood glue, a hammer and a screw driver.

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So Jasper and his Papa set to work, and unpacked the box, taking a quick look at the instructions and started building right away. BUT  I heard “uh oh” fairly early on during construction, when they realised they had put together the shazzy, upside down… Not to fear, they pulled apart what they had built and started again. This time, looking a little more closely at the instructions. What is it with men and not reading instructions?!

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Jasper is pretty adept at using a hammer, having done some wood work at his old Kindergarten in Germany when he was 4. He has since helped his Papa on other small jobs so he found the hammering of the nails easy and he did a great job of hammering each one in.

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Together they worked, picking up each piece and putting in the nail ready for hammering. It was a great to watch them have little chats, help each other and work as a team together, building it. I am very sure this was the exact aim of “Father and Son” toys. It truly does bring them together and create a truly unique experience , that many kids and fathers or even Grandfather’s may not get to normally experience.

Within 25 minutes, Jasper’s “Monster” was complete and he was racing it around the dining room table in no time!

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Next it was Hudson’s turn. We were presented with a slight conundrum when we opened his box as it had 6 wheels, inside instead of the required 4. We decided they were spares and continued on reading through the instructions and getting the nails, screws and axels ready to hammer and screw. The boys found on this particular model, that the nails for the headlights and tail lights were a bit longer than required.  Our Papa then decided to get out his cordless drill to screw them in quickly.

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Hudson loves hammering, he calls a hammer a “bang bang” and he was so excited to be able to help to hammer in the nails in his truck. The hammer is a bit heavy for his 3 year old hands still, so with some help from Papa, together they hammered in each nail.

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They were also finished in about 30 mins and Hudson was straight away filling up his truck with toys he could find.

The boys did then ask after both cars had been finished, how cool they would look painted!? Doh, I hadn’t thought of that. We had already built the cars but if you wanted to paint them, you could do it before you attach the wheels.  I think we may still paint our cars, we just need to decide on a colour…the boys want red!

In looking back over the many pictures I took of the afternoon they spent together, I feel privileged to have been part of their experience. It was so wonderfully special to watch them interact, connect, laugh, chat, build, and construct. It reminded me of watching my Dad in his garage, building, cutting, sawing and constructing things for the house and garden.

I know not all fathers are into building things or may want to have a try but don’t have all the necessary tools. These wooden toy kits are perfect as everything is prefabricated and all the screws, nails etc are provided. So as a team, you can concentrate on building and learning; not to mention having fun in the process.

I even know quite a few Dad’s who would love to make these type of toys with their daughters, maybe that could be the next phase of the Build & Bond series, Father and Daughter…

Until next month readers xx

Toy of the Month:           Father and Son Build & Bond

Helps to teach kids:  team work, valuable time spent & memories created with their Dad, construction & fine motor skills & problem solving.

Great for: Father’s day or Birthday presents, presents for Grandpa, eco conscious parents, kids who love to build and construct.

RRP: Monster A$33.00 

RRP: Short A$53.00

Ages 4+

Designed and made in Australia using milled and manufactured sustainable (PEFC certified), Jelutong timber. Each kit includes: pre-cut components with pre-drilled nail holes for safe, easy hammering (no sore thumbs!) and all nails, screws, wheels and axles.

This toy kit just went up 110% in awesomeness as I know how hard it is to keep wooden toy construction in Australia and not be tempted to have it manufactured offshore. Well done Father and Son Buildme toys!

 

Father and Son Build & Bond

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