Build a Skyscraper

Build a Skyscraper
Paul Farrell
Pavilion Books

Following on from his Build a Castle, graphic artist and illustrator Paul Farrell has, with a different colour scheme, created another terrific set of 64 slot-together building cards, this time with the intention that users build something very tall.

I put my set in front of Samuel (5) who delightedly seized it saying, “That’s a bit like the castle one”, clearly recognising the distinctive graphic style of Paul Farrell.

He then spent the next hour engrossed in building, wanting to know if he could build a skyscraper as tall as himself. “I bet it’s nearly up to my head” he commented. (estimating). He then proceeded to find out, carefully slotting the pieces together concentrating hard the entire time

and getting progressively more excited as it grew higher than his shoulder level.

When he put the final piece in place he was thrilled to find his skyscraper was taller than he is.

During the building, Samuel’s big sister came in and she was told to see where it reached on her body which she duly did, with Samuel suggesting he’d need 4 more pieces to get to her height. (estimating again).

Samuel had been watched throughout the building process by his baby sister Faith (6 months) who was clearly fascinated by what was going on. Samuel then went outside for a little while for a kickabout with a ball and before so doing he built a barricade around his construction with cushions and other items.

As soon as he left, Faith started rolling towards his model with a mischievous look about her, seemingly intent on destruction. However, she couldn’t get close enough to do the deed. PHEW! The tower was saved.

There are SO many learning possibilities presented by this set. Samuel clearly was using his fine motor and manipulative skills, his imagination, and several maths skills. The potential for creative play by adding toy characters and working with one or more children is enormous. I suspect it could embrace all the areas of the early years curriculum if used in a foundation stage setting; and if put into a KS1 class, there are further possibilities.

An excellent resource for home or school use.

Build A Castle

Build a Castle
Paul Farrell
Pavilion Books

Young children are continuously sensing, relating, observing, investigating, thinking and communicating. In so doing they research and create theories about how and why the world and things in it, work. We adults – teachers, parents, playworkers and others – have a unique opportunity to support this through our work and our play, through the arts and our relationships with children.

One such opportunity is presented in this Build a Castle kit that Samuel (age 4) was enormously excited to investigate.
The kit comprises 64 cleverly designed, slot-together building cards (105 x 69mm) – turrets, arrow-slit windows, portcullises, roofs, walls, flags and other things which can be assembled both upwards and outwards, to create a medieval wonder, or many.
Samuel spent a couple of hours completely absorbed, finding out how to slot the pieces together and working on ways to construct.

Having unpacked the pieces he unfolded the ‘Basic Building guide’ booklet and perused it, trying to match the various different cards with the design illustrated. He then began building, trying things out, and altering his design until he’d both used all the pieces and was satisfied with his creation.

His concentration never wavered

and having partly completed his castle he went and got two wooden figures from his toy box and added those, playing and storying with them inside the various rooms as he built.

What a cool way in which to play and learn. I thoroughly recommend Build a Castle for individuals, families, foundation stage settings and schools.