**DISCLAIMER** This post is in no way sponsored by Lowe's or Disney/Pixar. This is a review of a free program that we participated in solely because it seemed like fun (and it was)** Today we checked out a program my wife heard about, and she thought the kids would enjoy. Lowe's runs the Build & Grow program, and this month is partnered with Disney/Pixar. It lets your kids build a toy (with your help) that they get to take home, out of solid materials.
This week, the project was to build the Pizza Planet truck from Toy Story (and most other Pixar movies). When you arrive, you fill out a waiver (which you can also print and fill out in advance). You're given a prepackaged kit, a child size hammer, an apron, and a pair of safety glasses for each kid.
In the package is everything you need to build your toy, plus an iron-on patch that is custom for that build. You follow the instructions, and before you know it, your toy starts to take shape. There are minimal small pieces, other than the nails. When you're done putting the kit together, your kid gets to put on the stickers in the kit to take their toy from a block of wood to a cool looking toy.
Before you leave, your kid is given a "Merit Certificate" with their name, the store location, and the kit they built. They get to keep the apron and safety glasses for their next workshop.
Overall, I was very pleased not only with the workshop, but with the toy. It was sturdy wood, with real nails. The kids absolutely loved the whole experience, from hammering the nails (using a hammer for a purpose, and not just a noise maker for once) to putting on the stickers and seeing their toy become recognizable. The glasses and aprons didn't come off for a few hours after we got home, and only then so they didn't get covered in dinner.
I recommend this to anyone with kids from 4 to 10. My 4 year olds were able to help hammer in the nails, but still needed help. The fact that it's free makes this great. Add to it that you get to leave with a toy that will last and the glasses/apron definitely makes this a good way to escape the weather and have fun building with your kids.