Kids love building things, fact!
You only have to look at how much kids love Lego and JCBs, along with those cartoon heroes Handy Manny and Bob the Builder. So the idea of having tools as toys is nothing new.
The Real Construction range is different however because rather than having a screwdriver with a cute name and a smile on its face, these toys are the real deal!
The integral part of the Real Construction sets is the Kid-Wood, this is a foam that looks like and more importantly acts like real wood. Kids can nail it and saw it just like the real thing, but you don’t have to worry as it’s totally safe and mess free.
Me and the boys received the Real Construction Starter Workshop to review. Inside the box was a hammer, saw, long and short nails, and various different shapes and lengths of Kid-Wood.
The age recommendation on the box is from 6 years old, but both the hammer and saw are completely blunt and harmless. So as long as your children are fully supervised, I think this set is perfectly safe for kids from around age 3 (once they are out of the putting everything in their mouth stage).
Both my boys being at the younger end of the age scale did struggle a bit with the sawing aspect, but once I held the Kid-Wood steady for them they were sawing away nicely. Possibly a clamp would be a good addition to the Real Construction range to combat this problem.
You get a leaflet inside with ideas for things to build, some with step instructions. Me and Thomas tried making the car from the instructions, and a sword by taking a look at the picture. They were far from perfect, but Thomas was extremely happy with his sword so that’s all that matters!
After being distracted by playing sword fighting for a while, and watching the ZingZillas on Cbeebies I had a brainwave. Why not make our new ZingZillas Figures a wooden clubhouse made out of the Kid-Wood?
Feeling suitably inspired I set about making a wooden tree house, complete with ladder, and even a drum kit and stool for the littlest Zingzilla Drum.
We found some spare stickers from our Zinging Sticker Activity book and added them to make our clubhouse seem a bit more authentic. They didn’t like sticking much to the wood foam, so I applied a bit of sticky tape too which worked a treat.
Both of the boys were really impressed by the tree house, and have been happily playing with it almost constantly since I finished it. It has come apart a few times, but the screws are easily pushed back into the Kid-Wood.
Apart from the Starter set, there is also a Deluxe Workshop available which features a Hammer, Saw and Screwdriver. Along with lots of Kid-Wood, nails, screws and a hole borer.
The Kid-Wood is available in range of refill packs, which is great as you don’t want to have to keep buying the full sets and having tons of hammers and saws. If your child’s really into it you can get the handy tool belt for on the go repairs.
All in all I really enjoyed playing with the Real Construction Starter Workshop, probably just as much as Thomas. Jacob was a bit too young for it, but was extremely happy just hammering the nails into the wood. A perfect toy for young wannabe builders!