The Best Toys to Explore & Discover: Creating a Tin Can Robot

This #TargetToy shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias
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As a homeschooling mama, I try to give some thought to the types of toys we surround our children with.  I want them to be children.  I want their playtime to be filled with time to have fun, to explore, to discover, to create and to ignite sparks!  We have found the best toys for the children to explore and discover are toys that require them to be hands on.  Toys that allow them to roll-play, use their imagination to build or engage them to think outside the box.

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Addie has our family covered in the dress-up and role-play department.  Daily she is a princess, a doctor and usually a mom.  She and Austin can play for hours in their pretend kitchen creating dishes with their Melissa & Doug wooden food for their friends or perhaps guests at their restaurants.  On a recent trip to Target, we picked up a vet kit from B. toys.  This has been a toy that all the children have loved so far, including little Miss Bethany.  The kids pretend to give their animals check-ups and then “treat” the animals that right now all seem to need band-aids and shots.  I never knew I was so sick, they have insisted I have three check-ups so far today!

Carl Sagran’s words are so true: Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were.  But without it, we go nowhere.


While Austin loves to role-play with his sister, his true love is to be creating and building!  He truly amazes me by his ability to read and follow directions.  I discovered this last summer when he was ever so eager to build a new Lego set that was purchased and I told him he could start working on before his father got home.  Up until then, they always built them together.  I was floored when he surfaced about 20 minutes later with a completed truck!

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Needless to say, when it was his turn to select a toy at Target, he went straight for the Wonderology line.  Full of science experiments, hand-ons learning and building projects he had a very hard time making a selection!  The problem was deciding which he would choose!  He fell in love with the tin can robot kit and the bottle full of science experiments (I think because of the rocket in a bottle experiment!).

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Needless to say, it didn’t take him long.  The robot was lovingly named Wall-e after Aunt P’s favorite movie.  He opened the packages, with mom’s help and sorted the pieces into like parts.

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Glancing at the instructions a few times, and reluctantly asking for my help to snap a few parts together, he quickly turned that empty Zevia can into a cute little robot.

It has been his play companion daily since he built it.  Oh, the things he has pretended it could do….walk on the moon and communicate back with it’s satellite, play movie’s on demand, vacuum, recycle metal pieces into new robots, carry secret messages to his sister (which he did!) and many other cute, funny and quirky things.

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One of the reasons I most enjoy giving my children the best toys that encourage them to discover and explore is watching them grow.  As they make a connection for the first time, you can see it in their faces, the twinkle in their eyes!  That little spark made a connection, one that encourages growth and continued exploration.  It builds confidence and creativity.

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Target’s new Toy Emporium (found online only) features so many amazing brands that you would never expect to find from a big box store, brands that you would expect to only find in a small boutique toy store.  It is full of toys your children would love to have at a value you wouldn’t expect.

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I encourage you to think outside the box the next time you are shopping for a new toy for your child.  What could you give them that would help foster their own exploration and growth?

For more ideas to encourage your little one to blossom through play, I encourage you to check out the Pinterest board below.

7 thoughts on “The Best Toys to Explore & Discover: Creating a Tin Can Robot”

  1. These are so adorable, and I love all your amazing pictures of the kids playing. We’re definitely going to pick up two of these kits because my kids are obsessed with robots!

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