Ten Tips and tricks to start with PLAY PLANKS®

I always look for something new and creative ways to teach my homeschooling kids. Something that is sturdy, manipulative, inexpensive and can be played by all age groups. PLAY PLANKS® was one of the smartest choices. A simple set of wooden construction-toy based on plain planks each having the same size, allows you to construct anything you want. The most amazing surprising factor of using these Planks is that you don’t need any glue, joint or nail to construct it. Only by balancing and supporting the planks you can build stunning imaginations. But before you get started, here are tips and tricks for parental guidance. 

Tips for Beginner builders

  • Start with constructing simple structures, such as towers and move into roof lines and spirals. You can even start by stacking up the planks and learn balancing it  Even the littlest architects can create with them! Getting the basics mastered truly gives the children confidence to try more difficult structures.

Below are some examples, to start building…..

Triangular structure: Start with basic shapes, let’s make a triangular base and keep adding on the triangles over triangles just by reversing them. 

Square tower: in the same way you can do with a simple squares, just repeat the shapes and you will get the tower in the end.

Stacking up: just stacking over planks horizontally in square format, you can achieve a good height.

Base up Triangles: make a triangular base by laying the planks at their flat bases, and twisting their ways you will get an amazing diamond like design.

  • Encourage your child, If your children are resistant or hesitant at first because the planks don’t link up, just keep encouraging them!  A little bit of guidance (you sitting on the floor with them, making playful moments with them) is typically just the little “push” that they need to get started.
  • Play in Groups, If you are working in a group of kids, you can make fun games out of it, by giving them team building tasks, who makes first and fast( just an idea)
  • Never build your designs on carpet, well that sounds some really basic but you can’t build on uneven surfaces. You really need to use it on Table tops to maximize building potential.
  • Incorporate Play Planks in your daily lessons, if you have a little one, you can start by counting them (lining them all and sing counting), you can even construct alphabets from them and play guess the letter game. 
  • Give ideas, don’t limit your child to create only buildings. Encourage them to build trees, fences, furniture, auto, planes, boats.  Anything is possible, give them a free play and you’ll be amazed at the wonderfully unique and thoughtful designs they engineer! There is no right or wrong for playing it.
  • Integrate them with other toys, let them make the rail tracks, race roads, slides and slopes, for the vehicles to run on it. Kids love to build houses and castles, let them build their imagination spaces for little figurine toys and have fun pretend play!

PLAY PLANKS® for big kids, If you have big kids and they might think that this toy is made for them then show them this picture.

  • Make a photo album, in this age of smartphones, this is super easy, make a separate gallery for your kids to capture Play planks playful moments.
  • Try to relate it with books, Encourage your school going kids to build in relation to their topics in books, for instance if they are learning about Egyptians, they can try out making pyramid models.

Last but not the least i would say, PLAY PLANKS® can be very effectively change your child’s habits in this age of tablets and screens. It is completely opposite to passive toys, your little effort and encouragement can lead your child to a future builder! 

  Wish you a Happy building!

written by:

Maheen Ali

A non-practicing architect and homeschooling mom of three kids

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