Monday, April 7, 2014

toys we love: playskool pipeworks

We've been feeling a bit under the weather around here since late last week.  Turns out Ella has another ear infection.  So we've been amusing ourselves in the house, save for our little weekend adventure to Cleveland this past Saturday (update coming soon), and so having this toy around has been awesome!  Dare I say, this is the BEST toy ever!  At least for a kid who loves to build, climb, push things, rock, pretend . . . the list goes on and on.

Playskool Pipeworks were manufactured and sold starting in the 1980's.  My mother bought us two sets when we were kids and of all the toys we had, this was the one toy we specifically requested be saved for our own kids.  These pipes have certainly seen better days - some have the chew marks from our childhood dog Lily, others have sticky residue from the duct tape we used to attach blankets and other materials to our creations.  Despite this wear, however, these pipes still carry with them the challenge to dream up new configurations and designs.  A few days ago it was a swing.  Unfortunately, that didn't work out, but only because we didn't have enough pieces.  Instead, we built a wagon, a set of monkey bars, a rocking horse, a slide, and pretend car.

I've enjoyed seeing Ella learn quickly how to put the pieces together - just push together and turn until you hear a click.  They've helped me sneak other basic lessons in color and counting into our play time too.  "Two yellow pieces, please!"
Unfortunately, Playskool no longer makes Pipeworks.  But if you have any interest, you can try your luck on ebay or even craigslist.  You can also check out Omagles Toys, a similar construction toy using pipes and connection pieces to build just about anything.  I found their site while looking into buying more pieces to add to our current sets.  I've never used them before and their site hasn't been updated in a while so I'm unsure if they are still in production.  And if you want Playskool to bring Pipeworks back, there's a Facebook page for that!

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