I want to show off this amazing toy a grandfatherly friend of ours made for us. The boys love it...And so do the kids in our co-op group. I asked him to make a copy of one I had seen at the Montessori school where Thing1 went for preschool. The original was bolts in a piece of wood with a shallow well in the middle to hold the nuts and washers when they were off. I knew this would be fun because big nuts and bolts have always kept the boys occupied when we needed them to play quietly. With the varying sizes of bolts, this would be a great puzzle to sharpen those brains.
I asked the favor of our friend who is handy with wood, and he took it a step further. He decided to make puzzle pieces that fit over the bolts before you screw the nuts on. It is brilliant! To complete it, the kids have to figure out the puzzle, put the correct washer on each bolt, then screw the correct nut on each bolt.
Everything is sanded smooth, and there is a piece of wood paneling glued to the bottom, which finishes it attractively. It is heavy, though!
It is pretty special to play with a high-quality, handmade toy made by someone who loves you. This will be one of those toys I keep for my grandkids.