As a certified K-6 teacher, I find that testing products with educational value is important to me.  Because I’m a parent, I look for toys that can engage my children. For years, I’ve considered purchasing Gears! Gears! Gears! products as one of my older daughter’s Christmas gift. In the past, I could never tell if she was at the right age to really make use of the jumbo set without losing all the parts. Now that Samantha is becoming more responsible, I jumped at the chance to review the Learning Resources’ latest product, the Built & Bloom Building Set.

Build & Bloom Building Set Review

On the box, the stickers looked smaller in the photograph than they actually were when I looked in at the product. I was pleasantly surprised to see big stickers about an inch long. Samantha was thrilled with the large stickers that she could place all over her creations. Knowing my daughter, I predicted that the stickers would be a huge hit. I was right. Samantha had a great time putting stickers all the gears, flowers, and butterflies as she built. The stickers came in the shape of butterflies as well as flowers.

Build & Bloom Building Set Review

I liked that the product came in a durable box, so my daughter was encouraged to keep the pieces in one place. As a mom of two, I liked that the pieces were generally big. If my younger daughter went to play with the toy, she was safe with my supervision. The ladybug piece and the center of the flower were smaller, but posed no problem for my young builder. I encouraged both girls to dig in and see what they could create together.

Even though the girls didn’t always want to share, they had a great time. Sibling rivalry kicked in occasionally when Georgiana, my younger daughter, would move one of the pieces that Samantha had placed somewhere. Making decisions as a building team was a challenging, learning experience for my girls. When both girls created something they liked, they were both so proud, which I loved to see. Moving the gear pieces engaged both girls, so they wanted to keep watching to see what would happen.

While I wrote my Build & Bloom Building Set review, I realized how great the product was for its educational value. My daughters learned about connectivity as they studied how the parts that were placed next to each other influenced each other. I introduced the idea of cause and effect, which is a concept that would help them in their schooling later in life. As Samantha and Georgiana learned about how the parts affected each other, they also learned a bigger moral: that being connected as siblings worked the way the gears worked in motion. Both people’s actions affected the other.

As a mom, I was glad to see that the building set appealed to my daughters’ interests with the stickers, ladybugs and flowers. Both girls love the outdoors as well as gardening. The product was a successful gift. I wholeheartedly recommend it to holiday shoppers this year. To learn more, visit the Learning Resources website.

Disclosure: I received a free product, but it in no way influenced my opinion.

About The Author

Theresa has been writing since 2010 in magazines and online. Her lifestyle and parenting expertise has been featured in publications, including ShopSmart and Scholastic. She earned an M.Ed in Elementary Education from Vanderbilt as well as a BA in History from Flagler College, and she is a certified teacher.

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