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K'nex Mighty Makers Inventor's Clubhouse

(K'nex $49.99)

Our 11-year old tester, an avid builder, gave us rave reviews, loving how many ways she could use this and create not one, but many inventions. Designed to appeal to girls, this is the top of the line building set complete with motor and over 528 K'nex pieces and parts. Along with the motor it comes with pulleys and gears, wheels, star snaps, graphic panels and color coded instructions for many kinds of mechanical builds. Although we think many girls enjoy gender free building sets, we know from research that they are less often chosen or gifted to girls. We are happy to see the options in play expanding as more building toys are being marketed to girls and such toys will hopefully help enable them to develop spatial skills and enthusiasm for engineering and problem solving. This is a set that that develops S.T.E.M. skills and gives girls the tools for building from the instructions and then going on to build their own creations. Introduced in 2015, the company has reworked some of the figures that did not hold together well. This looks like last year's model, but it's been updated in response to consumer's complaints. Keep in mind that K'nex requires strong hands and is not always easy for beginners. Marked for 7 and up, we think 7's will need lots of help to get started. We also suggest it will be enjoyed more by slightly older girls.

Ages: Early School, Tweens

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2016

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