Weplay Apple Links is a building block set consisting of lightweight green and red cubes (apples), 2 sizes of brown plastic bumpy rods (caterpillars), green foam ovals (leaves), and a wooden needle (caterpillar) and thread. The “apples” have a holes on each side and corners for builders to insert “caterpillars” or needle and thread to attach other “apples” or “leaves” to build their own abstract creations or representations of other real world objects. The set contains more than 80 pieces, making it ideal for interactive partner play or individual exploration of creativity and construction. Illustrations are provided for examples, and a Weplay YouTube channel highlights builders at work and their creations.
- Apple Links foster expressive language skills by encouraging players to describe their creations to other players or facilitators.
- Apple Links foster discussion and the exchange of ideas between players as they work together to build one item or complementary items / structures.
- Apple Links promote language development for younger players as they assign labels to their creations.
- To promote receptive language skills, the facilitator instructs players to build a sculpture of their choosing utilizing a specified number of Apple Links game pieces in a specified amount of time. The player who completes the sculpture with the correct number of pieces wins!
- Read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and build structures with Apple Links that represent characters, scenes, food, etc. to reinforce the story.
- Cover and paste the Apple blocks with cut outs of story prompts and/or images. Place blocks in opaque bag and pull one out at a time and create a story.
To foster the understanding the relationship between apples and caterpillars, facilitator or players will read a children’s book with related content in advance of playing building with building set pieces.
- Apple Links develops problem solving skills through the process of players experimenting with game pieces (different colors and connector lengths) to create physical representations of provided illustrations.
- Apple Links develops spatial relationship skills as players manipulate the “apples” and different length “caterpillars” to create and build structures.
- Apple Links develops creative thinking skills as players build their own designs with “apples”, “caterpillars”, and leaves.
- To introduce early math concepts, place all game pieces in an opaque bag. Instruct players to take turns rolling a die and pulling out the corresponding number of Apple Links game pieces from the bag and sort them accordingly. The player with the most pieces wins.
- Utilizing oversized illustrated books, instruct players to use Apple Links game pieces to outline the story’s characters or other illustrated items such as trees, rivers, cars, animals, etcetera.
- Create a scavenger hunt by writing clues on paper and placing them strategically around the play space. The clues will lead players to find the hidden Apple Links game pieces and assemble a structure. Play independently, with help of an adult, or pair up for a team approach.
- Introduce building pieces to players by using them independently of one another, such as stacking “apples” or crisscrossing “caterpillars to build a “box” that increases with height each layer laid.
- Introduce concept of interlinking pieces by building a model “apple” completed with a green or red block, a leaf, and “caterpillar” to represent the stem.
- Apple Links does not have game rules, so players are permitted to create and build freely without fear of the repercussions of making a mistake.
- Apple Links promotes sharing, negotiating and turn taking among multiple players due to the limited number of colored and connective pieces from which players can select to build their own creations.
- Apple Links fosters cooperative play in that players can be encourage to build and erect structures together or items that complement each other’s creations (ex. car and garage).
- Instruct players to determine a building theme in which they must each build a sculpture or objects that relate to one another within the theme, such as a dog and a cat or a caterpillar and a butterfly.
- Utilizing the caterpillars to “draw” lines, create an oversized tic-tac-toe board on a flat surface and instruct players use the green and red apples as X’s and O’s.
- Instruct players to design a sculpture or sculptures that remind them of feeling happy, sad, scared, or other emotional states. Encourage players to explain the association between the sculpture and the emotion that it represents.
Developmental Processes Promoted
- Action Concepts e.g. In/Out
- Fine Motor Skills
- Spatial Relationships
- Social Interaction
- Finger & Hand Control and Dexterity
- Two-Handed Play - Midline Focus and Transferring
- Visual Acuity
- Approximate Price:
- Age Range:
- Surface Wipe
- Pictoral, Simple
- Levels of Play: