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Brackitz Bugz Playpark

(Steam $29.99)

The Brackitz Bugz Playpark has 47 pieces and —get ready—a motorized vibrating bug! No ordinary bug, this one comes with with a changeable skin. The building kit comes with many ideas for ways to build 20 play parks and obstacles for the bug to move around in. We put the yellow balls inside one maze we built and watched the bug push the balls aside as it found the one crack in the wall to make its daring escape. Kids can build a Toppling Tower and a Super Spinner and make their own creations. It takes a little time to figure how best to connect the walls and three or four way connectors. They say age 4 – 104 on the box, but we think 5-6 and 7s will have the power in their hands to fit these together and invent passageways for their bug or other windup or motorized small toys. The Brackitz Pulley Set ($39.99) has 77 pieces and 8 different designs for building such structures as a draw bridge, a four foot zip line, or an excavator. It’s a hands-on way to learn about pulleys and weights and axels; call it physics for beginners. Again, this is also marked 4 & up, but way beyond the building skills of four year olds. Sure, you can build it for them to play with, but that misses the point. It’s about kids doing the building and 7-9s are more like the right age group for this set with complex STEM learning built in. Even kids of this age may need parental help with some of the builds, but help is not the same as doing it for them. The parental piece here is similar to being a coach who supports the action without taking over.

Ages: Older Early School

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2017

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