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Last month Damian and I made sure to have a bit of 1-1 time with the older children – Damian and Daniel headed off for a cafe trip one morning, and the next day I took Emma to the town centre to choose a gift for her brother’s birthday as well as a treat in a cafe.
Whilst the boys were at home, Harry had a nap so Damian and Daniel set about building a new GeoMags Gravity set that we had been sent. This set is aimed at 8+ and I think that’s a reasonably accurate age range for this. Daniel was able to do it with Damian’s assistance and certainly enjoyed watching the metal balls travel around.
The set comes with various pieces (some 200+ pieces in fact) and a good set of instructions to help you to build it all up. Building the GeoMags set is intricate in places and it’s best done on a clear, flat surface (the boys used the dining room table). It does take a little time to piece it all together but when it’s done it’s certainly impressive. I think that it is best to put it together without too much distraction as some of the plastic pieces can be quite fiddly to fit together – there’s definitely a knack to it.
The kits contains 11 magnetic rods, 36 steel spheres and 196 plastic mechanical elements – some of these are small so we are always really careful to keep these sets away from Harry – whilst he doesn’t mouth too much there steel balls represent too much of a choking risk for him at the moment, so this is definitely a set for older children.
What we liked about the set
What I like about the Geomags set is that the instructions are clear enough to follow, although there are some bits that are tricky to put together and do require concentration. As you build it up you can see the structure coming together nicely. Daniel did get a little impatient at times, and some of the pieces he struggled fitting together, so Damian helped him with those. However, once it was built and Emma and I came home he was keen to show us what they’d been working on. As I’ve noted before, it is definitely a set that slightly older children will get more benefit from, but younger children will certainly be able to manage it was assistance.
The Geomags sets are always good for exploring STEM ideas with children, and this one uses some ideas children will have learnt (or will learn) – in this instance gravity and magnets. The set, when built and working is very clever in how it shoots the balls around. Daniel isn’t yet at a point where he can articulate what the gears and various magnets are doing and why they are doing it, but he likes experimenting and playing with it, and the understanding will come, in time.
Items like this that encourage play and are hands-on are always great ways to engage children in STEM work – it’s hard to teach such ‘big’ ideas and concepts to them at times, but seeing science in action through STEM toys such as GeoMags is perfect for sparking curiosity.
You can be in with a chance to win this GeoMags Gravity Shoot and Catch Set (RRP £70) by completing the Rafflecopter entry below