School is back in session, but for many, it isn’t as COVID has led to distance learning. While more activities for children, like sports and day camps are opening up, we are headed into the winter months when kids can’t simply go outside and play. For parents who are reluctant to simply throw a video game at their kids, this presents a need for toys and activities with at least some educational bent, if only to make you feel better for how bad you are as a teacher. While LEGO has been my go-to building toy to fill that niche, Geomag is a new entry for parents to consider.
Components: The Geomag Gravity Magnetic Track Set is composed of various interlocking plastic pieces (bases, tracks, and towers), metal balls (which have a nice heft to them), and magnetic pieces. The plastic is lightweight, but seemed sturdy enough to withstand multiple plays without breaking. According to the Geomag website, the sets are made with 100% recycled plastic, which is a plus (and may explain the general lack of heft to the pieces).
Construction Experience: The instructions do a good job of explaining how the pieces work. I like how the instruction manual set up the building principles for the various components as opposed to just giving the steps to build the pictured set. This gives a foundation for building creatively. Building a tower and tracks was easy, even for my fat fingers. The pieces fit together pretty well. I did have some difficulty figuring out the “magnetic cannon.” You will want to set aside a chunk of time to build, as it takes some time to start making real progress.
Fun Once Built: With many building sets, the fun ends when you finish building it, after which it basically is a static model or sculpture. Geomag Mechanics adds the element of motion with the metal balls, which gives you both a sense of accomplishment if you can make it work, and something to do with your completed set.
Replayability: While the instructions provide two models to build, I think the real fun is trying to make your own creation work. Unlike Lego, the pieces are easy to pull apart (which also helps when you make a mistake). I could definitely see someone taking it apart after each play to build something new next time. The Mechanics sets can also be combined with each other, widening the possibilities.
Age: The recommended age group is 7+. With its small pieces, manual dexterity, and required ability to follow instructions, I recommend not going below that age. I could see younger builders getting frustrated at not being able to make the set work, so be prepared to help if needed.
Overall Thoughts: Geomag Mechanics fills a need for parents looking for a toy for their children that has some educational value. Like LEGO, Geomag encourages creativity and building dexterity. It adds the additional educational opportunity around movement and how magnets work. Geomag mechanics could also be a great opportunity for parents to build something with their kids when it is too cold to go outside.
Thank you to Geomag for providing a review set.