Mid June and the “I’m bored” syndrome has already set in. It’s time to pull out toys that have been forgotten about. At one point in time building marble runs was what it was all about at our house. We have made them out of plastic, wood, paper, hot wheels tracks, legos, we even have the expensive Quadrilla set. But that fell by the wayside when Legos Star Wars took the main stage. Today it was time to pull out an oldie but goodie. Wooden blocks and marbles.
It’s a simple design, easy to set up yet the construction possibilities are endless. Addison had such lofty ambitions for this design that a few alphabet block reinforcements had to be called in.
Creativity, construction, building, problem solving and knocking down. Little boys and mommy agree…this is a great toy.
Posted by Hugs, Kisses and Snot on June 21, 2012
(Q-Ba-Maze did NOT ask me to review their toy. They have no idea this blog exists. I just really like this toy.)
MindWare Q-Ba-Maze Marble Run Starter Set 2.0 – Cool Colors
Addison has been asking for Q-Ba-Maze for the past two Christmases. This year Santa finally got the hint! Plus my parents got him a set (they didn’t know Santa was bringing a set) so two times the fun!
Q-Ba-Maze is a marble maze building toy that uses interlocking clear plastic cubes. It is similar to the Blocks & Marbles Super Set we have in that the marbles race down through the pieces to the bottom and can be built, torn down and rebuilt in an endless possibility of configurations. The wooden Blocks & Marbles set is kinda like playing with building blocks but taking it to another level by adding a marble run. If that is the case with wooden marble runs then Q-Ba-Maze is similar but taking it yet another step further with the way they interlock with each other.
A lot of problem solving skills are involved when building with Q-Ba-Maze. Which blocks you chose and how you arrange them make for different outcomes in the path the marble takes.
We have a lot of different marble maze toys. Each are fun and unique in their own way so they all get a lot of play time. There is one big difference between Q-Ba-Maze and Quadrilla and the Blocks & Marbles set. The marbles that Q-Ba-Maze come with are smaller than traditional marbles and made of metal so they are much heavier. I have to point this out because that means regular marbles WILL NOT work on Q-Ba-Maze.
Another difference is that marbles run through the maze much slower than Quadrilla. That’s not a bad thing…just different. They seem to be taking their time, enjoying their view on the way down, stopping to ask for directions and deciding whether or not to turn left or right. No rushing for these marbles…they are out for a Sunday drive. Slow and steady wins the race.
I would say the age range for this toy is 6 and up. A 5 year old with great dexterity might have fun with it but it would take some practice and help from a parent.
Posted by Hugs, Kisses and Snot on January 19, 2012
‘Tis the season for toy shopping.
Addison has fallen in love with Hexbugs Nano. In the past we have had some Hexbugs (robotic cockroaches, spiders and various other insects). On their own they are just okay.
Leading up to his birthday he received and since collected a small city of Hexbug Nano Habitat sets. The Hexbug Nano are tiny Hexbugs, about an inch and a half long with rubbery centipede type legs. They get around by vibrating and their little rubber legs propel them quickly around a hard surface. Again, like the larger Hexbugs, on their own they are just okay. But put them into their little habitat and they come alive.
The great thing about the habitat sets is that the roads can be taken apart and reconfigured in endless possibilities. Addison’s favorite part is taking it all apart and discovering new ways to build their little roads.
These hexagon shaped interchanges have little doors that allow the bugs to pass through to continue on their path. The builder opens or closes the doors to let the bugs pass through to other roads. When they are in the hexagon they bump around the sides until they find an opening. It’s pretty amazing to watch them find the openings and continue on their way.
One of the sets is called a Nano Hive. It’s a two story little playground for the bugs to go up and down ramps, across a bridge, around merry-go-rounds and something that looks sort of like a teeter totter. I have to admit that watching these little bugs zoom around the hive I started to feel like they had a mind of their own. They seem to know where they are going.
Building and rebuilding this Hexbug city has provided hours of fun and strengthens problem solving skills. I love it because this toy stays at Grandmommy’s house so I don’t have to deal with it. We’ve got enough of a toy explosion going on here without adding another play set.
My son is 7 and this is very age appropriate for him. I can see a 6 year old enjoying it but 5 may be pushing it as far as putting the roads together without too much frustration. I would rate this toy for ages 6 and up. Hexbugs Nano Habitat gets an A+ from both kid and mommy.
Posted by Hugs, Kisses and Snot on December 2, 2011