Historically building sets have been designed with boys in mind, but companies are now realizing that girls can be builders too, and creating sets made for girls. In many cases, like the Lego Friends series, this involves taking an existing building toy and making it more “girly” by changing the color scheme and theme of the sets. Build & Imagine sets were designed to get girls interested in building by providing them with a more creative, imaginative experience than standard building blocks. The Build & Imagine sets are building blocks meets dollhouse meets dress-up dolls. It’s a unique combination with lots of details designed to inspire girls (and boys) to build and imagine.
Malia’s House is one of the most popular Build & Imagine sets and the winner of a Parent’s choice Gold Award. The set includes 10 square, 4 triangular and 2 rectangular panels. These are illustrated on both sides and snap together magnetically.
There is no set way to build Malia’s house – it can be one story or two, a traditional rectangle or open plan. The builder can add a garage complete with charging electric car or flip it over and instead have deck on the beach. They can add stairs to a second story or turn over the piece to add a vegetable garden outside. There are many different permutations to create, the child can use their imagination to decide which scenes to include and what shape to build, every time they play they can rebuild it in a slightly different way. There is a working door and lots of different rooms and scenes illustrated on the panels, including furniture and indoor and outdoor scenes such as a kitchen, bedrooms, beach, garden and pool.
As well as the building panels the kit also includes 2 magnetic dolls- Malia and her friend Skyler plus lots of magnetic clothes, pets and accessories. The set can also be combined with other Build & Imagine sets for even more creative fun.
Malia’s house is a great S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) gift – it encourages young builders to engage both the left and right side of their brains. Building with geometric shapes of the magnetic panels children work on simple engineering skills and and work on design, spatial reasoning and problem solving and design. The play sets encourage creative storytelling with the illustrations, dolls, animals, clothes and accessories helping the child to tell a story.
I love how my daughter not only creates different scenes and dollhouses with Malia’s House, but that she also loves to tell stories about what is happening as she plays. A great #STEAM gift and it can be combined with other Build & Imagine play sets for even more creative possibilities. Available from Amazon and toyshops for US$59.99 .
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Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).