Tag Archives: Learning Toy

Review – Fast and Fun In Home Learning with Gravitrax

Gravitrax and learning

Photo-A-Day 2.0 #00444

We received the Gravitrax Starter Kit for free from Ravensburger to play with and review. Opinions are our own.

This has been our first week of home school for Andy and Eva. While the kids are getting used to the new schedule and how things are working here they do need some supplemental education and challenges to get through each day. Whether is is assembling a go kart or going for a walk these little diversions from structured assignments have been very helpful. Today I took out Gravitrax for us to use.

I first saw Gravitrax at Toy Fair. There was a huge display of it at the entrance of the exhibit hall and it was fascinating. Gravitrax is a marble run system that is easy to assemble, has no motors but can keep the steel marbles going and going, if you create a trax with that intention. What impressed me most was that Gravitrax is a clean modular system. All the parts are measured out to a precise size and so they fit together easily for great marble movement. The starter kit gives you a bunch of pieces and instructions to make several different marble runs. However, you can make so many more of your own creations and with expansion there are all sorts of fun things to do.

Together we used this toy to work on following directions, problem solving, gravity, magnetism and kinetics. After we had built a few of the examples from the instruction booklet Andy wanted his turn at making his own track. Another nice feature is the mat at the bottom of the track. This has holes so that the elements can sit inside securely and they wont go sliding all over the place. This also helps when measuring out the distance between support pieces and the trax pieces. I like that the tracks lay down into the pieces and do not snap in place, it makes for quick changes when building. The toy lends itself well to trial and error and experimentation. Excellent for learning about cause and effect, too. You can see how excited Andrew was when using it in this video.

You can find out more about Gravitrax on their website and that site also has a bunch of useful videos about each of the elements as well as tips and tricks for builders.

I’ve found Gravitrax in Target and other stores but you can also order it online through our affiliate link to the Gravitrax sets on Amazon.com.

Review: Circuit Conductor is STEM Fun for An Electric Good Time

Andrew with Circuit Conductor

We received a copy of Circuit Conductor from Pai Technology for free to play with and review. These are our honest impressions.

Circuit Conductor is for ages 4 and up. Andrew is 6 years old and he has shown interest in different toys that teach children about electricity. That is why I requested a copy of this for us to review. The set is very straightforward and simple enough for a younger child but has some challenges that are good for an older child to accomplish without help. Andrew was able to go through the tutorials quickly and easily. He then set out experimenting with his own circuits and creations. He tried out all of the different wires and individual circuits to see how each would work in his experiments.

The app is useful in that you can scan over the creations and then see how the electricity flows through each electrical function box and wire. The set comes with a special mat that you use to place the electrical function boxes. Then you take a smartphone or tablet and scan it with the camera. The circuit is shown and then you can move a slider to see the electrical flow. You can also use the function boxes that were scanned in the app to further test out what they do.

There is also a puzzle game that lets the child select from a set of function boxes to pick the correct one to solve the puzzle.

Both the app and the toy encourage experimentation and learning. This is something that Andrew has really been enjoying playing. Because each Function box and wire has a magnet on it Andrew can easily connect the components together. He just needs to figure out the correct order of everything so that his experiments work. That is where the experimentation comes in.

Andrew Building his Circuits

The official description of Circuit Conductor.

Circuit Conductor teaches children about electricity, currents, and magnets through fun, imaginative AR play. Use 12 different electrical function blocks and special insulated wires to build fun circuits and learn about electricity through the free app. Scan circuits using a mobile device to view electrical flows in real time, follow tutorials, and play in-game puzzles to enhance problem-solving and critical thinking. Circuit Conductor emphasizes focus, concentration, creativity, and hand-eye coordination. 4+, $69.99

You can purchase through our Amazon.com affiliate link below.