My uncle is a garage sale person. As he is a wonderful man, he keeps my children in mind as he searches for great deals. For Christmas he gave Michael a bunch of Lowe's Build and Grow kits he had picked up for a quarter each. I am officially telling him that the the gift is amazing. Thank you!
The kits are simple. They are wooden pieces with pre-drilled holes and nails. There are instruction sheets and stickers to decorate the finished product. Some examples are fire truck, helicopter, race car, pirate ship, and monster truck.
Michael, Ava, and I assembled our first kit last week. I just grabbed one at random and our first project was the monster truck. Here's a picture of the kit. They sell for about $9 at Lowes.
We all had fun assembling the truck with hammer and nails. Ava didn't have enough strength and fine motor control to hammer in the nails with her left hand so her job was to take the nail and push it down as far as possible into the predrilled hole by hand. Michael would follow up by hammering the nail down as much as he could and I finished off each nail.
I was pretty impressed with the way the kit went together. The pieces were well made and everything fit together well. The final product was sturdy and has held up to some pretty enthusiastic play.
After the monster truck was mostly assembled, but before we put on the stickers I suggested painting it. The children enthusiastically agreed. Ava painted the wheels black while Michael painted the truck red. We put on two - three coats and then let it dry overnight. Now we were painting it with washable tempera paint and I was a little concerned that it would rub off with sweaty hands so I finished it off with a coat of mod podge. Then we applied put the wheels on the truck with the last two nails and applied the decals.
Here's the final product. The children were delighted and Michael and Ava showed it off to every new guest to arrive in the house for days. Michael took it to his room to play with at every naptime and bedtime for days. I felt we got well more than $9 value out of the activity and the toy we got as a final result.