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Friday, April 23, 2010

Cool Sesame Street Building Sets!

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 I received a sample of the K'NEX Sesame Street Collection building sets to try with my three-year-old son. We have two sets, the Police Station Building Set and the 123 Brownstone Building Set. Each set comes with around 40 colorful pieces and instructions on how to assemble the structure featured on the front of the box. In addition, the instructions include other activities that you can do with your child that reinforce learning concepts such as counting, colors or creativity. Since these sets are geared toward children ages 2 to 5, the boxes include characters that will interconnect with the blocks, which is great for creative play. With both sets, the pieces good sizes for little hands but not too small too small for them either. In my opinion, none of the pieces pose a chocking hazard for this age group.   

Police Station Building Set
The Police Station Building Set includes an Ernie policeman and an Elmo. Each of the characters can be taken apart and put back together and their feet will lock into the blocks. My son's favorite feature is the stoplight that comes with the set. When he rides in the car, he loves to point out when the light turns green. Therefore, he gets a kick out of making the play stoplight and telling Elmo to stop or go! The set has windows that lock into some of the blocks. This feature allows the kids to interact with you while they play because they will pretend to be in the building with Elmo talking through the window to you and Ernie. The windows open and shut, just one of the little things that make it a fun toy for preschoolers.

123 Brownstone Building Set
 The 123 Brownstone Building Set or "Elmo's House," as my son calls it, is a vibrant collection of blocks and characters. This set includes an Elmo and a Cookie Monster that can be taken apart and put back together. It also has extra blocks to represent grass and unique little pieces that make trees. Just like the Police Station Set, the brownstone has windows but more of them! There are many pieces that have features of the brownstone drawn on them. My son treated this building set much like a puzzle, trying to figure out how to match the blocks to create the door or the window that has a picture of Bert. The only thing that my son seems to wish for is a door that will open so that Elmo can go into the house. The door on this set is drawn over several blocks and he would like an opening like on the police station set. However, it's not really a drawback since he just adapted and scoots Elmo around the side of the house to get him inside!

First, my son played with one set and enjoyed putting it together and taking it apart. Then, after opening the other set, he played with both of them together to make a little town with other toys we have. He drives cars up to the stoplight and makes them stop. He takes policeman Ernie and pretends that he tells the cars to slow down! I really saw his creativity and interaction with the toys increase when he had more than one set. I think these building sets are wonderful alone but even better when they play with them simultaneously.

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