As a parent, I try every day to teach my kids that our faith is not a hobby or a solace we dip into from time to time, when things are really good or really bad, but rather the center of our lives. Whose we are and what we believe must, necessarily, impact every aspect of our days.
On one hand, this doesn’t mean that everything we do or every product we use has to be overtly religious. When you look, there is truth, goodness, and beauty in all kinds of things. Still, I love when opportunities crop up to incorporate Scripture or our traditions into activities we might otherwise have separated away. Like building with LEGOs, for instance.
Two Mamas on a Mission
I got to know a bit about the company, Our Picnic Tree, before seeing the product in person. Betsey and Melissa are sisters who wanted to create a faith-based building toy for their kids. Last year, they launched a successful Kickstarter campaign and have been in business ever since. Their perseverance and dedication to the idea is an inspiration in itself.
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review their Scripture Stackers — building-brick sets that bring Scripture stories and heroes to life. We received a 140-piece Nativity Set, as well as a collection of six mini-figures from the Old Testament.
“Thrilled” is probably an understatement for my kids’ reaction when they saw what was inside the box. They promptly took to assembling Noah, King Solomon, Moses, and more. Each character comes with at least one accessory — Noah has a sheep, King Solomon has a throne (which was super fun to build), and Moses has a burning bush (my favorite part!).
Each one related to a story the kids had heard before, and it was so encouraging, as a parent, to see my kids excited about having toys they could use to reenact the stories that went along with them.
They helped me set up our little cast for photos …
… and then we moved on to the bigger set depicting the Nativity. My older guy took to the construction of the stable right away. While these blocks are not LEGOs, they are compatible with those and other similar sets, and they work in the same way. As with LEGOs, you don’t need to read to work through the instructions, which meant my middle guy could be involved as well.
We worked together to bring the scene to life, and I had as much fun as they did. Some of the pieces are not totally rectangular; there are chunks that look like they’ve been chipped away, so that the structure looks like it’s made of stone. I love that detail!
My middle guy was awed by the size of the star. He put himself in charge of assembling the three wise men in their colorful garb. My little lady was more interested in the people and animals than the bricks, so there was really something for everyone. It should be noted, though, that some of the pieces are quite small, so children under five should be supervised when playing with these toys.
Get Your Own!
If you’d like to get your own set—the nativity would be great during Advent, and the mini-figures would be perfect for the Feast of St. Nicholas or stocking stuffers—Our Picnic Tree is offering 30% off the price of your entire order to CatholicMom.com readers. Use code FALL30 at checkout. It’s valid through November 30, 2017.
Copyright 2017 Lindsay Schlegel