Design and construction are trades that are often overlooked in our education, yet they have very practical applications in our everyday lives. From the time we are babies, we begin stacking blocks on top of each other to make towers. Legos do a fine job of enhancing this idea, but there is an even better toy in my opinion that is very simple, but effective in furthering this concept: the Tall Stacker Pegs by Lauri.
I have worked in the design and construction industry for over 13 years, so the fact that I want my kids to understand how buildings and other structures work is important to me. It follows the idea that the food we buy at the grocery store didn’t just appear out of nothing, but it originally came from a farm and was delivered there for us to enjoy. It gives us an appreciation for what we have. We live in houses, drive on roads, play at parks, go to school, build bridges… all of which were designed and constructed at some point.
The idea of the Lauri Stacker Pegs is essentially the same. It’s building a structure using the pegs and placing “floors” of shapes in between. Then more pegs are placed on top with another “floor.” My son likes to place pegs that are unsupported from below on the shapes, causing the shape to bend. I show him that it’s unstable and have taught him that if he wants to put a peg there, he has to support it. He’s learned the idea of correctly supporting the structure this way and not randomly placing pegs where any hole is. You can see a few of the unsupported ones in the picture. He found out that there was no way he could support those because he didn’t have anything underneath it to hold those pieces. He’s gotten pretty good at being able to make the structure fairly tall. His favorite thing to do after he’s constructed it is to crash it; he’s all boy!
Another way to use these pegs is to teach patterns, an early math skill. We have lined them up along the thick blue bottom piece, alternating colors (red, green, red, green,…) and he’s able to finish the pattern.
Supplies: I bought mine used at a homeschool sale for $5, but they can also be found on Amazon here.