How to choose a constructor for a child.
Constructor is a universal toy for children of any age. It develops and trains imagination, spatial thinking, fine motor skills, and perseverance. A correctly chosen constructor can become a child’s favorite game, which will take him not 5-10 minutes, but hours.
We explain how to find a constructor that will suit your child and really like it.
Be selected according to age
The first thing to focus on when choosing the type of constructor is the age of the child.
For the youngest children up to three years old, you should choose constructors with a small number of parts-preferably up to 15 elements in one set. The parts should be large so that the child does not swallow them, and well processed so that he can not get hurt. Cubes and three-dimensional mosaics made of natural or soft artificial materials and well-processed plastic are best suited for young children.
Children from four to six years old can buy more complex building kits like LEGO and its budget counterparts. Suitable needle and magnetic constructors, sets with suction cups.
For children over six years of age, you can choose electronic and dynamic constructors that will help you understand how the world works around you. With such sets, you can put experiments, they are often accompanied by educational manuals and instructions.
Teenagers can use STEM kits that allow them to learn the basics of physics, chemistry, robotics, and programming.
It should be borne in mind that children of any age often need the help of their parents during the game. Playing with the constructor is always a solution to problems of different complexity, and if the child constantly fails to cope with these tasks, the constructor will quickly get bored. Here parents can come to the rescue — together with the child to reach a decision. It is not necessary to play for the child or immediately show him how to assemble the constructor correctly: he must figure it out himself, but with unobtrusive help and tips.
Pay attention to the material
Different materials are used for making constructors. The most popular and cheap — plastic. Constructors with plastic parts are available for children of different ages. If the plastic is of high quality – well-colored and durable-the set will last a long time. When choosing, you should pay attention to the thickness of the plastic: too thin can crack.
Designers for the youngest children are made of soft foamed materials-EVA, polyurethane foam, polyurethane foam. You can find constructors made of silicone and rubber. Soft details minimize the risk of various injuries, which is very important for children under two years of age.
Wooden constructors are suitable for children of different ages and have recently become very popular, since wood is an eco-friendly material. When choosing sets with wooden parts, you should pay attention to the quality of wood processing — all elements must be perfectly smooth.
Constructors with metal parts are designed for children over seven years of age. In such sets, there are many small details that a small child can not cope with. The complexity of the Assembly of metal constructors are different, but most often working with them requires a lot of time and perseverance, because the elements need to be screwed to each other. In addition, metal constructors are not as bright and beautiful as plastic ones.
You can even find ceramic constructors in stores. Most often, these are sets that allow you to create quite complex buildings — fortresses, castles, and houses. Ready-made models look very beautiful, but it is worth considering that every detail in them is fragile. These sets are more suitable for older children. Manufacturers offer several solutions: with ready-made bricks in a set or with a dry mixture, the details of which are made by the child himself.
Select the type
By type, constructors are divided into classic, screw, dynamic, Electromechanical, electronic, magnetic, and pneumatic.
Static models are assembled from classic constructors. Parts are connected to each other by means of protrusions and recesses. By build type, these are some of the simplest sets.
In screw constructors, parts are connected to each other using screws and nuts. Depending on the size of the parts, these kits can be suitable for children from four to ten years old. The smaller the child, the larger the parts should be and the fewer of them should be included.
Dynamic constructors are a prefabricated model of a maze, tube, or slide that can be used to launch a ball, car, and other elements. Most often, many elements in an already assembled model are also movable. Such constructors will be a great entertainment for children of primary school age.
The Electromechanical constructor has a motor that drives the assembled structure. Most often, these sets are robots-transformers, various cars, trains. Sometimes radio control panels are included with Electromechanical constructors.
Electronic constructors allow you to understand how different electrical circuits are arranged and what circuits correspond to them. They can be used to assemble simple electronic devices and models, such as an FM receiver, microphone, or traffic light.
Pneumatic constructors are a type of movable constructors. They work by using compressed air pressure or water pressure, which drive the elements of the design.
Classic, dynamic and screw constructors are more suitable for children of preschool and primary school age. Electromechanical and electronic constructors are more complex, so they are suitable for students over the age of eight.
Check the number of parts
The more details in the constructor, the more complex it is. Children under three years of age should choose sets with up to 50 items. From three to six — up to 150, children of primary and secondary school age-up to 250. Teenagers can handle more complex constructors, which can have from 250 to 1000 parts.
To evaluate additional opportunities
Many designers provide additional elements that extend the ability to build and interact with ready-made models.
For example, some sets have a variety of sensors: rotation, pressure, touch, color, and others. The rotation sensor controls the movement of objects in dynamic constructors. Tactile sensors are able to detect physical pressure when compressing or pushing. They allow you to determine how much pressure you need to create so that the robot can take an item and not damage it. Color sensors allow you to control the sequence of actions that are performed by moving elements of the constructor: for example, if a train meets a green element on its way, it goes further, if a red one stops.
Some constructors may include a programmable microcomputer. It allows you to connect the assembled model to a desktop computer or laptop via a USB cable to use them to program it. Programs for programming models are downloaded separately — they are simple and allow you to learn the basics of programming at the level of solving simple visual tasks, so of course we are not talking about writing code.
STEM constructors provide A wide range of additional cognitive capabilities. STEM is a special approach to teaching children, which is based on creative solutions to various tasks and creating projects. Such constructors allow you to acquire basic knowledge of natural Sciences, engineering, robotics and mathematics in a playful way. There are always additional materials attached to STEM kits that help the child interact with the designer and help organize the game.
Top 5 constructors
Straw Constructor STEM Building Toys 800 pcs-Colorful Interlocking Plastic Enginnering Toys- Fun- Educational- Safe for Kids- Develops Motor Skills-Construction Blocks- Best Gift for Boys and Girls
Jasonwell 65 PCS Magnetic Tiles Building Blocks Set for Boys Girls Preschool Educational Construction Kit Magnet Stacking Toys for Kids Toddlers Children 3 4 5 6 7 8 Year Old
ZoZoplay Straw Constructor STEM Building Toys 400 Piece Straws and Connectors Building Sets Colorful Motor Skills Interlocking Plastic Engineering Toys Best Educational Toys Boy & Girl (400 Straws)
Crazy Forts,Purple, 69 pieces
ZoZoplay STEM Learning Toy Tubular Pipes & Spouts & Joints 64 Piece Build Bicycle, Tank, Scootie, Moter Skills Endless Designs Educational Building Blocks Set for Kid Ages 3+ Multicolor
It may be useful and interesting to you: