About the Lock Boxes
This set includes six lock boxes, each one with a door in the front featuring a different locking mechanism. Each box has a different colored door so when children are playing with them they can use complete sentences to ask for a turn, such as; “May I please have the box with the red door?” instead of just pointing and saying “that one.” Encouraging children to ask for turns using complete sentences supports language development.
The top of each box has a different shaped hole and includes a set of similarly shaped blocks that children can place through the holes. The back of each box features a transparent window that the children can look through. The color of the panel on the back matches the color of the door on the front of each box.
Built to withstand many years of rigorous play the lock boxes are constructed of sturdy wood and come fully assembled. Also included is a wooden tray to hold the boxes. The tray has a space for each box and each space is colored to match the doors on the box.
Educational Benefits of the Lock Boxes
- Oral Language Development
- Color Identification and Matching
- Shape Identification and Matching
- Self-Regulation (taking turns and sharing)
- Problem Solving
- Fine Motor Skills
The fine motor benefits of this set are quite obvious. Little fingers will get plenty of exercise as they attempt to open and close each lock. I added persistence to the list above because it is a big part of the problem solving process. If a child does not develop persistence, or the ability to try and solve problems in different ways it can translate into poor test scores later in life. If your child or a student brings you a box and asks for your help opening or closing it you can encourage him or her to try different methods to solve the problem to develop persistence skills. Say something like, “Show we what you already tried.” or ask “Is there another way you can try to open it?”
As you watch the child attempt to open and close the boxes you can use prepositional words, I have listed just a few examples for you below:
- Can you move the hook up?
- Now try moving it down to see if you can lock it.
- Can you put this (name of shape) in the box?
- Can you take the (name of shape) out of the box?
- What do you see inside the box?
- Can you put the red box next to the green box?
In addition to their many educational benefits listed above, these lock boxes are ingenious because they solve a problem that similar boxes do not. If you have ever used a lock box in your classroom you know that it is usually one large box. Because it is only one box it is difficult for more than one or two children to play with at one time. The Guidecraft Lock Box set solves this problem by offering 6 small boxes instead of one large box. Now several children can play with the boxes at once and each one is the perfect size for little hands. I love it!
Head over to Planet Weidknecht and enter to win your very own set of lock boxes ($90). Entries will be accepted until March 17, 2013.
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Disclosure: I received the community buildings to review, I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are 100% my own.
This set is intended for use by children ages 2 and up. I have used lock boxes in my preschool classroom of 4 year olds for many years for the educational benefits listed above.