I’ve had the pleasure recently to be able to obtain real time data for my toy reviews by spending some time with a 3 year old preschool class at Timberlake Christian Preschool.
Smart Max by Smart Max
I brought in the 42 piece SmartMax set for the kidlets to play with. Smart Max is an open-ended toy that utilizes magnetism for its construction with over-sized pieces, making exploration and manipulation easy even for little ones.
The basic 42 piece set includes 18 short magnetic bars, 12 long magnetic bars, 12 magnetic balls and a guide to build models–don’t worry about bringing out the guide for children…they know what to do! Extension sets are available for purchase separately and I easily see the need for more pieces.
NOTE: The pieces in this set are so large it IS safe for children younger than 3 years.
———————————————It was a hit with the preschoolers!
Smart Max might just have easily been called Max Smart–manipulating, testing, exploring and building–in other words PLAYING with these pieces gives kidlets hands-on, experience with physics, engineering, and architectural principles as they construct 3-dimensional structures.
●I noticed as they attempted to put pieces with like magnets together; feeling AND seeing how like magnets repel.
●I saw the curiosity and intrigue on their faces as they brought pieces with unlike magnets towards each other with the resulting magnetic force uniting the pieces as if they were (invisibly) pulled out of their hands!
●I watched as they tried to build up—sometimes successfully, more often than not the piece would roll around and over, ending up on the table. They had to adjust their placements and/or add additional pieces to buttress their structure.
●I marveled as their creativity took hold and then took off…
SmartMax gets a huge PLAY ON stamp of approval!
The only ‘downsides’ to the toy are:
1. Price: SmartMax is very expensive
But they seem to be durable and should last for long time
2. Magnets: Not all the different colors of rods will connect; there’re select magnet pairs
3. Magnets: Magnetic strength will not easily hold any and all construction designs
BUT that can be an opportunity for learning!
I always love seeing photos of children playing–you know, action shots of their work–if you’ve got some of your kidlet building with Smart Max SHARE IT here!
Yours in Play!