I received a sample of this product in exchange for my review. However, I only recommend products or services I love, that I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. The links to Amazon in this post are affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase using them.
Engineering and technology fascinates me. I pin a lot of articles about Tinkering on my Science Pinterest board and I’m enthralled by the Maker Movement. I see tons of different experiments and engineering challenges and I really wish I could come up with them on my own to share with my kids. Sadly, engineering is not one of my core strengths.
This post contains affiliate links. I also received a sample product to review, but all opinions are my own.
You know what? That doesn’t matter. Luckily I can buy them engineering toys and there are plenty of resources out there to share with them, even if it’s not something I’m very good at. You can read more about my favorite resources here on my post about nurturing my children’s love of science and the maker movement.
ThinkFun makes a new, really fun series of engineering toys that I’m excited to share with you called Maker Studio￼, designed by engineers for budding engineers, ages 7-Adult.
There are 3 Maker Studio Sets to Choose From:
- ￼ThinkFun Maker Studio – Gears Building Kit￼
- ThinkFun Maker Studio – Winches Building Kit￼
- ThinkFun Maker Studio – Propellers Building Kit￼
We recently received the MakerStudio Gears Set to review from ThinkFun. Even though my kids are too young for it, as it’s intended, they love to play with the builds we created for them. I think that playing with the gears and creating their own contraptions with the included parts is still a great learning tool for them.
So What is MakerStudio Gears Set?
With MakerStudio Gear Set, you can turn things from your recycle bin into machines that move! The book includes instructions for building a Racecar, Motorcycle, Cable Car, and 3-Wheeler. After your child completes the builds, the set also includes engineering challenge cards that require you to alter the build and use other items in your home to solve them. So fun! And I have to say, for me anyway, very challenging.
I don’t see that as a negative, in fact, I enjoy things that stretch my brain from time to time.
The first build is a Rubber Band Powered Macaroni box Racecar. To be completely truthful, I didn’t measure. Even though there are measurements included on the diagrams in the instruction manual I decided to wing it. I built a car that looks like the instructions!
But, I can’t seem to get the rubber band to power it. It just pops off. I’m sure your 7 year old can probably do it though, with no trouble, because as I said at the beginning of this post, I am not an engineer. We will go back to the drawing board, actually measure this time, and hope for the best. My husband said the box isn’t straight and the bottom is dragging.
What I Love About MakerStudio Gears
- I love that it challenges kids to think about recyclable items in new ways. My kids love that we build a Race Car out of a Macaroni box.
- Each challenge card gives Engineering Tips on the back, but they don’t give kids the answers. That means, they have to think up solutions on their own, and there’s no way to “cheat”.
- By playing with the gears, and other parts, kids can get a hands-on understanding of how they work. If the gears are lined up, they fit together and move the back wheels.
- The instruction manual also includes an explanation of the parts and how they work.
- The instructions are visual, so you can look at them and build without needing strong reading skills, just like Legos, K’nex, and other construction toys.
I will say, I got a little frustrated that I couldn’t get the car to work and that I have no idea what I did wrong. But, I’m up for the challenge and look forward to figuring it out together with my kids. Once they are a little older, I’ll check out the other two sets with them.
You can buy the sets on Amazon by using any of the links above in my post. Make sure you also check out the Maker Studio Website! There’s lots of fun there, including an opportunity to apply to become a Maker Family.
Look what else you can do with MakerStudio!
How do you inspire a love of engineering in your kids? I’d love for you to share your posts with me on Facebook and Twitter.
Check out my very popular Science Board on Pinterest: