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games / building set ideas for DS 3 and DS 5 please

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I was just wondering what little ones favorite building sets and educational games are. Legos? Magnetix? I have no clue on pre-reader educational games. I am sick of Candy Land!


I have DD2 and DD4 (5 in march) and DS7. I really want to find some things that would work for keeping tthe boys working quietly while reading aloud. And for playing together as a family.


Thanks for your ideas!


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Mine have always liked plain ol' blocks. They can be found rather inexpensively (new) over time -- I get random boxes from Marshall's, Ross, TJ Maxx type stores fairly frequently. I find them used at thrift stores and garage sales. They can be used alone, but my kids have always incorporated them into other imagination play (staging grounds for plastic army guys, etc.) The kids liked thomas the train, too.


Along those lines, Lincoln Logs. And of course, Legos, but I had better luck with the wood stuff (blocks, logs) when mine were toddler/preschooler aged.


Gamewise, my kids love puzzles. Borders has $6 Dr Suess ones. Target has $4 ones for the 3-5 age group. Target also has a few games based on Eric Carle books - my pre-reader was very much able to play that, and the older kids were fine to play along. Dominos, too.

Edited by eternalknot
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my kids love the wooden trains - we have some thomas, and then some brio - which is cheaper - and some plain off-brand wood trains. My almost 4 yo loves that.....lincoln logs aren't a huge hit here but they play with them sometimes. Kid K'nex are a huuuuuge hit here. All the kids love them, especially my almost 4 yo and my 6 yo. They are a little bit pricey, but they last, and we've been able to find some at garage sales, too....ebay might have some. I think it's worth it full-price, tho. Duplo is another toy they play quietly with a lot, and playmobil. They love playmobil. Even my 2 yo will go play with it.

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The building toys that get the most use in our home are Legos and a couple sets of wooden blocks mixed with a wooden marble maze set.


If you're looking for games that can be played quietly during reading time, you might look at Mighty Mind or Super Mind, Rush Hour, pattern blocks, Castle Logix. Blokus is another hit here, as my children like to make patterns on the board with the pieces when they are not actually playing the game.



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Mine like Legos and Magneatos. They're a toddler version of K'nex, but my 5 yr old loves them too. Also, wooden block sets, we have a couple Hero brand and another German brand, but I don't know the brand. Not really considered toys, but they both love cuisenaire rods! They also like a set called Stonees. I bought it from Hearthsong last year. They are basically just colored stones that are flat on the top and bottom for building with. You could easily make them yourself, I just bought them b/c they were on sale for cheap.


Some good pre-literate games are any matching game, Harvest Time by Family Pastimes, and Twister. Oh, and Royal Rescue- both ds's really love this one.

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