Isaiah's always been really tactile, and he loves to draw and create things. It used to be that he would try to build things out of paper and tape, sometimes cardboard if he could get his hands on any. And our house was always filled with scraps of things taped together and to walls and furniture, all of which would cause a major ruckus if I tried to remove and/0r throw away.
At Christmas we got him K'Nex hoping that would help: he would have something to build with. Unfortunately, we were a few months too early. He loved them, but needed considerable help to create with them. So when he became obsessed with his preschool teacher's Legos, we figured we'd found a new love. We gave him a few sets of Legos for his birthday, and he took right off! He's built houses, towers, cars, people, and his favorite--ships (as in space ships). Then, he started asking about the K'Nex again. I had put them away after he got the Legos because he had lost interest in them, and I didn't want to get them all mixed up with the Legos. But I finally relented and got them back out. My builder boy is in heaven! And he's been creating so many things, with only a bit of help from Dad here and there.
I love that he has something to manipulate and enjoy that doesn't require violent play-fighting, leaving messes of paper scraps, markers, and tape all over my house, and that he can do with or without friends. And I'm envisioning his successful future in architecture . . .
(He even dresses like an artist . . . okay, so those are just mismatched pajamas . . . )