This is not a paid post. BKLK received this product for review purposes.
I’m the kind of dad who buys extremely non-educational presents for my boys at Christmas and birthdays, mainly because I’m buying them the toys I’d like to have! I’ve FINALLY got the Buzz Lightyear action figure that I always wanted… well, Little E will actually have him for xmas this year.
When Geomag asked us to review one of their magnetic construction sets I thought it would be a very good idea to check out the kind of gift that, perhaps, I should be giving to my kids.
Geomag Colour 64 piece set
We trialled the Geomag Color (bloody American spelling drives me nuts!) set with 64 pieces. You can get this set with between 30 or 120 pieces and there are also other ranges like Geomag Glitter and Geomag E-Motion Magic Spin. You can find out all about them by clicking this link here.
Upon opening the box I found three types of construction element:
Red or orange magnetic rods, metal ballsand geometric plastic panels.The idea is to use these three elements to construct all sorts of crazy geometric structures. The rods and balls are the main building material and the panels can be used to give some strength and stability.
The first thing I noticed was how powerful the magnets are. If you get them within a few centimetres of each other they zoom together. This is excellent for ensuring that your structures hold but a mighty pain in the behind for just dealing with them in and out of the box; every time I put a piece down it suddenly gathered a family!
For your engineering, you can place the rods together, end-to-end or side-by-side, to create straight lines but adding a metal ball creates a joint for changing angles or a nexus for lots of rods to come together. You also use the balls to hold the plastic panels onto the rods.
It also meant that when he picked it up and spun around with it (should have seen this coming) the structure that he had created didn’t scatter across the yard and initiate a parental treasure hunt.
I was impressed at how quickly Little E got his head around the components and was easily shifting the form into new shapes. He didn’t get the idea of creating anything geometrically specific but loved just being able to randomly form something.
Phenom-A-Mum thinks this toy is amazing and is already planning all of the chemical structures that she can show the boys how to build (and you thought I was a geek!). Non-mathematical-Dad (that’s me) understands how important this concept is but reels at the obvious limitations. Where are the curves and squiggles? Where is the randomness of chaos?
The pieces are all strong, colourful and easy to use. But small. The metal balls are very small so be extremely careful if you have any under-3’s in the house.
Little E has just turned 3, the earliest age recommended on the box, and needs to be supervised. This set would be better for slightly older kids who are learning math or science basics and can discover the theory in a hands-on play approach.
To round out this review here is a true moment of dad-testing. Here is an example of a cool structure that can be created with Geomag:
Here is what I made.
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