Time has not been allowing me to create content for Artful Kids recently – a frustrating state of affairs since I have lots of new project ideas I would like to add, although one that I hope will not last too long. In spite of this I decided to try and make time to review this product when it was offered to me, because it appealed to me so much.
Construction toys of various kinds are available in multiple shapes and sizes, but this one seemed to offer such a lot, and when it arrived I wasn’t disappointed. The box it arrived in was satisfyingly sturdy, and contained a colourful inspiration booklet full of ideas.
The set which I was sent is a starter set in rainbow colours, containing 62 assorted pieces. I loved the ‘stained glass’ nature of the pieces, so I decided to experiment with them outside in the sunshine to make the most of this feature. The magnetic nature of the pieces make construction easy and intuitive, though it does mean that it is difficult to move something that is finished or half-constructed, unless you move the surface it is built on, since it will not hold together. This I think is the price you pay for something being so very easy to put together.
I loved the versatility of the set in terms of play value. In addition to using it to build things, you can also use it 2-dimensionally on a light table or light box, where kids can experiment with overlaying the transparent coloured pieces to look at how the colours mix, or creating complicated geometrical shapes. It was also quite satisfying to try constructing using a mirror as a base which makes your construction look twice as big – indeed if you use several mirrors, used both horizontally and vertically your construction could appear infinite in size! In this way you are effectively building with light. Of course with young children, any mirrors used in this way would need to be acrylic for safety purposes.
The pieces themselves also have small holes in the corners – I used this to experiment with stringing the pieces up in the window using thin wires, or you might use them to create mobile art which the light can shine through.
I particularly appreciate sets like this which not only encourage and stimulate a child’s creativity, but which look beautiful, and have teaching value not just from an art perspective, but are cross-curricular. This set offers those opportunities across all the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) subjects, which I have always believed should not be taught in an artificially isolated manner.
Although this set (I hesitate to call it a toy) is aimed at children from 3 years up, I found I actually had great fun using it myself. I wanted to build cathedrals, but would have needed a considerably larger set and also a wider range of window styles! There are however lots of add-ons available to extend the play value, ranging from parts that connect so that you can create beautiful and imaginative ball runs, to transport sets with wheels. They are also available as pastel coloured sets.
I have now passed the set on to my 6 year old ‘Play Consultant’ to see what she makes of it, so will hopefully be able to add a few more images of what she creates.
The links in this post are affiliate links from which I earn a small commission if you go on to purchase.