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Build Dramatic Play and Fine Motor Skills with a Wooden Workbench

We’ve recently undergone yet another toy cleanse at home.  As a result there’s currently enough space for a larger scale toy in the play room.  Having a girl and a boy, I’ve been waffling between purchasing a play kitchen or a play workbench.  The solution may be to put the hubby and grandpas to work creating some type of double-sided hybrid.  
Regardless of whether I end up buying or convincing the menfolk to build – I need to know what I want.  To that end, I’ve been doing lots of research and today I’m giving you the goods on wooden play workbenches (don’t be surprised if a kitchen round up pops up soon too).
First up is the Wooden Project Work Bench from Melissa & Doug.  I’m a big fan of Melissa & Doug products in general and this one is no exception.  It’s natural finish looks fairly substantial with good storage.  Also, it comes with lots of parts and a booklet filled with building projects.  My only concern is that it may be a big advanced for my two year old.  But then again it might be good to have some room to grow.

Modern Parents Messy Kids

The Kids’ Imaginary Play: Kids Toy Workbench & Toolsfrom Land of Nod is another attractive option.  The building activities associated with this set also seem a little more open ended and suited to toddlers.

Modern Parents Messy Kids

At $49.99, the Deluxe Workbench and Toolbox from Back to Basics is a relatively economical choice but it doesn’t appear that you sacrifice much for the bargain price.  I’m especially diggin’ the included toolbox.
Last up is the Eco-Friendly Wonder Work Bench by Wonderworld.  It looks like this one is missing a good storage option but it does boast environmentally friendly rubberwood, non-toxic water-based paints and biodegradable fabrics.
One final note, IKEA also has their own workbench – the DUKTIG.  When I first saw it I was especially excited that it had space for a large TROFAST storage bin.  But as far as I can tell, IKEA doesn’t sell any tools to use with this workbench online.  That seems unbelievably frustrating so someone fill me in if I’m missing something.  Also, I haven’t actually tried out any of these finds so please let me now if you have experience with any of them (or any other options)!
 

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous May 18, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Love the IKEA one…wouldn’t it be great paired with Green Toys Tool Set?! My 2 yr-old son loves them as they seem “close to the real thing” I also love that each tool is labeled with their name.
Check it out:
http://www.amazon.com/Green-Toys-TLS01R-Tool-Set/dp/B001Q3KUAA
Also, speaking of kitchens…found an incredible value that both my son & daughter spend hours with during winter months:
http://www.amazon.com/KidKraft-Vintage-Kitchen-Microwave-Version/dp/B003BLJQFA/ref=sr_1_3?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1305741502&sr=1-3

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Amanda May 26, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Grandpa just ordered the voila bench for our son’s birthday. Thanks for the idea!

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com May 27, 2011 at 4:50 am

Jealous!!

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