“ Brand: K'Nex / Age: 3 Years+ „
Kid K'Nex is a construction toy, aimed at younger children of 3+, it consists of different shapes which can have rods or other shapes connected to them. This particular set includes lots of shapes that would help children make creatures; there are "googly eyes" (in the words of my three year old" but also ears and feet.
What you get:
In the useful storage box you get 115 pieces in all, and a double-sided sheet giving you 75 different building ideas. Currently this set is available for £14.99 at Toysrus, but it is usually priced at £25.00 or more -our set was a gift. Most of the pieces are quite large; you will find 115 pieces doesn't look like as much as it sounds, once you have taken the rod connectors into account, but it is a fairly generous and well assorted set. Some of the blue connectors are only about 1cm long, so if there are younger siblings around these should be kept well out of reach as I found out the hard way when a younger child came to play(luckily spotted in time), but everything else is of a safe size in my opinion.
I think this is an excellent system, and I have found the age 3+ guidline is spot on. I like the way the sheet that comes with it gives ideas - I find my 3 year old when first playing with the k'nex was able to work out how to copy the pictures suprisingly quickly - some of the models require you to think in 3-D. She rapidly moved on to coming up with her own ideas - I think the fact that this set has creature components in it makes it easy for little ones to relate to, the pieces are large enough for small hands with developping motor skills to manipulate easily and they can quickly actually achieve something - which tends to be important at this age.
The pieces connect nice and easily onto each other - it is quite hard to explain in words how this works - each rod has a bulge at the end which will fit into a corresponding hole in the hexagonal pieces or slot into a hole. When you put pieces into a child's hand it seems to be pretty intuitive for them, and this is a toy they are happy to explore. Everything snaps together quickly and easier, though younger children might need some help to pull models apart I have found.
I did find my eldest daughter would get frustrated at times as she wanted to copy exactly what was on the picture when younger - and some of the models are quite complex, requiring bendy rods and the like, however generally this is a toy with very little to go wrong. It is a toy for both boys and girls alike - though I have observed that girls are likely to pick this up and make a flower whereas boys quickly work out you can make a gun shape, I guess that is gender difference in action for you!
The storage box is quite robust, and the plastic lid sits firmly on top so it is easy to keep everything together. I do think the instruction sheet, albeit not essential, could have been laminated or made of better paper as ours has got rather tattered. Apart from this there is nothing much to break with this toy - because the body/head pieces are of textured plastic and can have rods attached our preschool has used them for stamping/painting with, but our set is too precious for that! Age wise I think that this suits the age 3-6 range, probably after that they will move on to smaller pieces.
This is a great toy which I really recommend. There are enough pieces to keep your child busy and I like the fact that it is easily stored and the pieces are big enough not to go astray too easily.
I think it would make a great gift, and have bought one for a nephew ready for Christmas whilst it is on offer at Toys R Us, I am pretty sure he will have as much fun playing with it as much as my children have!
If you like this:
There are smaller sets available, also in sturdy boxes at the £7.99 mark, and also a version with wheels (zoomin buddies) and turning pieces (playground pals).
http://global.knex.com for more details
Packed with K'NEX classic and special personality parts. Building ideas to create 75 buddies. Storage tub with handle for easy clean-up and take-along fun. Window in tub highlights the fun, colorful KID K'NEX parts.