an exclusive feature by Victoria Waller, Ed.D*
An ad came up on my computer and in less than 10 seconds I had clicked, “Yes,” and sent my credit card number. Now the amount wasn’t much, so what could I lose? You’re wondering what a mom, grandma and educator would jump at so fast and help someone she doesn’t even know with a new invention. Are you ready? The Building Brick Waffle Maker! Okay, if I were to ask every person I know who has a child in their life, to invest in a waffle maker that makes Lego-like pieces, I’m positive they’d click “invest” as fast as I did!
Now eight months later, with emails from the inventors, saying they’re behind because of the pandemic, I finally receive an email that my two Building Brick Waffle Makers are on their way. This is probably the best product I’ve bought in years that has kids building for hours and I mean, hours! (Probably longer, in fact, because the builders were eating all the waffles!)
The one characteristic I’ve always loved about ALL children is if you give them an idea, they can create wonderful projects. ALL children have ideas. You just have to let them SOAR. This waffle maker is that kind of invention. Here is what I supplied the kid builders:
- The Building Brick waffles: I found the Williams Sonoma Waffle Mix the easiest to make. (They also have a gluten free mix, too.) I like this mix because all you need is the mix, butter and water. It’s easy and delicious! I make many batches and freeze them if the children are coming at a later time.
- I used, as I always do, the children’s passions to give them ideas for building: favorite book characters, a portrait gift for a grandparent’s birthday, a gingerbread house covered in the waffle bricks, scary monsters for a Halloween centerpiece, and a wonderful animal island.
- As you can see in the pictures, the kids also incorporated candy, marshmallows, gummy worms, licorice, M and M’s, and suckers.
- They used frosting (store bought) as the “glue” to hold the pieces together.
What I loved best about these projects was being an observer, as the children (ages 4-11) created their own magical ideas. They then wrote stories about their creations, describing the setting, characters, maybe a problem, and the ending. The younger children dictated their story to me and I typed it for them.
Seeing children’s wonderful imaginations is magical. You want them to be involved, have fun, and LEARN — and this is one wonderful way to do it. Your grandkid will flip!
*As an educator for over 40 years, Dr. Victoria Waller has taught thousands of students to read and write using their passions and strengths: sharks, roller coasters, rocket science, the Titanic and even Pokemon, to name a few. The children learn to read, but more importantly, “love” to read, which lasts a lifetime!