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I was so thrilled when I was contacted by Timberdoodle to do a review. I think they have some of the best quality and variety of educational items out there! I thumb through their catalog and always find something new to add to our wish list.
My first impression when getting the Engino Mechanical Structures & Bridges was WOW – I can’t wait to dive in! That was Goofy’s reaction too! I thought the set would be a lot like Lego’s. Well, it is and it isn’t. You do build things in a modular step-by-step process like with Lego’s. But this is so much more than a toy!
As a homeschooling Mom I was beyond thrilled that it came with a hands –on activity book. This book not only gives background information on structures and architectural principles including weight distribution, triangulation, tension, and more. It is filled with additional experiments, colorful pictures of modern day architecture, quizzes, and so more. This would be a wonderful 6-8 week elective unit!
The instruction book includes step by step instructions to make 6 structures (one house and 5 different types of bridges). So if you just want a fun toy – this is for you too! We loved that this set was intended to built more than one way. Isn’t it frustrating when you get a new Lego set and you build it and then don’t want to mix up the pieces or you won’t be able to build it again! This set will entertain again and again!
The pieces themselves snap together and then can twist when connected so they have more building possibilities. Another advantage to the twisting is that they are more realistic when using to learn about architecture. We found them to be incredibly tough and durable as well as easy to disassemble to build our next project. I loved that the activity book encouraged the kids to push on the sides to feel how sturdy different structures were. You could feel some give (like real structures) but they weren’t going to break either.
This tension bridge was our favorite to build. It was just so FUN and looks really cool! Goofy has started to point out the things he’s learned as we go over local bridges or see ones on TV (like Tower Bridge he saw during the Olympics!) It is no wonder this toy has won 8 awards!
So, bottom line, would I recommend this item? ABSOLUTELY! It is fun, durable, entertaining, and educational. They toys recommended ages is for kids 6-14 years old. My kiddo is 7 and he was able to build the structures and understand some of the principles behind them. It definitely has made him more aware and curious about structures! But there is so much more in this set that I plan to use this as an Engineering Elective down the road as well. I think the hands-on activity book would be ideal for 5th-8th grade. This would also be WONDERFUL to do together in a coop! Plus with 365+ pieces there are so many things your child can create on their own – you just may inspire a young architect of your own!
The Engino Mechanical Structures & Bridges set retails for $39.99. Right now it is on sale for $34.99!! This truly is a wonderful product that I can recommend whole heartedly! So whether you are looking for a fantastic homeschool unit or a fun toy that will spark creativity – you are going to love it! Timberdoodle has lots of other wonderful educational items for babies through high school.
Disclaimer: I received Engino Mechanical structures & Bridges free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions presented are my own honest thoughts.