Whether that is more realistic (Big Sister E's continued desire to be a teacher) or slightly less likely to happen (Little Sister B's ever-changing ideas about being a rock star), I will stand behind them and support their dreams 100%. Athletes, doctors, race car drivers, engineers, mechanics — I'm going to encourage them no matter if their chosen path is stereotypical for a male or female.
But as much as we all want our little girls to grow up believing in themselves in this manner, why is it that the toys they play with are not encouraging the next generation of females to continue on in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as much as those for boys? When will the day come that blocks and construction toys don't feel as though they were designed with males in mind?
Fortunately, there are companies that realize the importance of encouraging and inspiring the future of female innovators and engineers and are working to keep girls from losing interest in STEM subjects. Instead of simply sitting back and hoping that girls will decide to play with traditionally "boy" toys on their own, it's time to continue to revolutionize the way that we motivate girls to look at the world with Build & Imagine.
Founded by a female award-winning toy designer, Build & Imagine was formed when Laurie Peterson wanted to close the gap in the girls' section of most toy stores and include more experiences involving building, creativity and experimentation.
The result is an award-winning line of whimsically illustrated magnetic building sets (which include leading female characters, of course) filled with rich colors and endless details that ensure users are always discovering something new. What girl wouldn't be amazed by the combination of the fun of a dollhouse and the enrichment of a construction toy?
Even better, while each set contains a variety of the illustrated panels, the fact that there is no wrong way to join them together is an instant inspiration for the creativity of young builders.
Instead, girls create scenes both big and small and are then able to bring them to life with the enclosed dress-up dolls, costume pieces, animals, objects, foods, and more. In essence, Build & Imagine puts girls into the role of architect, engineer, builder, designer, storyteller and more!
Unsurprisingly, my girls couldn't wait to get to work imagining, creating, and building as soon as they saw three sets from Build & Imagine arrive. It was time to reinvent the classic dollhouse with Malia's House!
From the moment we started removing the pieces from the box, it was already easy to see how this one toy could help encourage my girls' STEM skills. These parts are just asking to be assembled, disassembled, built, and rebuilt time and again!
From the swimming pool to the kitchen to the outfits, accessories, pets, moving door, two characters, and more, Malia's House includes a total of 58 pieces that provide endless creativity in the numerous ways and possibilities that they can be constructed, mixed, and matched. Who themselves hasn't thought about how amazing it would be to design their dream house?
I'm telling you, the details on these dual-sided building panels, wooden dolls, and magnetic accessories are just so eye-catching and fun!
Considering that my two young architect storytellers had such a great time constructing all sorts of home variations with Malia's House, there was no doubt that they wanted to delve further into the world of Build & Imagine.
It took all of zero convincing to get them excited about the Draw & Build Dollhouse
As if simply having the ability to full create your own dollhouse with movable walls and pieces wasn't enough, Build & Imagine took things to a whole new level with the Draw & Build Dollhouse.
Using the four included markers, builders can draw their own decorations and scenes right on the walls (as well as hair and clothes on the doll) to truly make them unique. Want outer space themed wallpaper? Polka dots? Zigzags on the roof?
Whatever your heart and imagination desires, draw it on and then combine the panels to make a house, store, building, and more! Plus, if you own other Build & Imagine sets, the Draw & Build Dollhouse pieces are easily worked right in — in our case, they have made Malia's House even more innovative and special!
As much as I have loved seeing my kids' imaginations working overtime illustrating and creating their Build & Imagine modular pieces, the Career Dolls instantly made me swoon with all of their possibilities.
The 75 colorfully illustrated magnetic clothes, props, and two wooden dolls (as well as the dual-sided background scene) are the perfect extension of me telling my girls that they can grow up and follow whatever career path they choose. These magnetic outfits pop on and off so easily and can be put together in full — a complete police detective, chemist or fire fighter, for example — or can be mixed and matched for all sorts of interesting combinations!
Although it can be argued that just about any toy has benefits and encourages kids to practice a variety of skills (e.g. small motor, creativity, reading, etc), there is a smaller number that truly manage to inspire... and Build & Imagine is one of them! Each of their sets are just right to inspire the next generation of innovators and help girls think beyond only the toys that are princess and pink.
My kids not only love these sets and accessories on their own, but immediately realized that all of the pieces from each of the individual sets can easily be combined and used for just about any sort of other creation. Girls simply have to use their imagination and the sky is the limit in building and constructing!
Malia's House (MSRP $59.99), Draw & Build Dollhouse (MSRP $22.99), and Career Dolls (MSRP $14.99) are designed for ages 4+ and can be purchased in select retail locations (look for them making a recent splash on the shelves of your nearest Target!), directly from Build & Imagine, on Amazon, and more.
You're also going to want to head over to BuildandImagine.com (and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) to find out more and see the full line of imaginative play possibilities that Build & Imagine has to offer. Remember that all of the sets work together for all sorts of delightful, crazy, mixed-up stories that kids can invent when combining them!
This holiday season and beyond, Build & Imagine is the perfect way to encourage all kids to see their world in a different way as they collect, build, interchange, design, cooperate, and come up with endless storytelling possibilities to go along with them.
Other than the three sets that I was provided by Build & Imagine in order to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion about this product.