Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Marble Raceway 2.0

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Details: The Learning Journey International: Techno Gears Marble Mania Raceway 2.0: Race series 200+ pieces, action packed marble maze with a marble launcher.  Comes with a full color instruction manual, windmill marble drop, marble twisters, QI scanner codes for marble action.  Best for children 6 and older.  Not recommended for children under age 3 as there are lots of small choking hazard pieces.  "Kids with race to the finish as they build and create their own raceway."  You can find this toy and others similar on amazon.

my kids dressed up

My Review: I am a home school teacher.  I have a First/ Second grader, and a Preschool/ Kindergartner.  They love learning, but struggle when I don't make school fun.  As a teacher and their mother I am always on the lookout for fun educational tools, toys, and games.  The Learning Journey's Techno Gears Marble Mania Raceway 2.0 is exactly one of those fun educational toys and games.  When I signed up to test, try and review this product I didn't really know what I was getting myself into.  I didn't realize how much I would learn from this tool as well.  I didn't realize how much fun the hard work it took to set this up would make it all worth it.  So let's start at the beginning.  We got the package delivered in the late afternoon, but due to base ball games and bed time we weren't able to set it up right away.  My kids were begging every hour it seemed until we were able to set it up.  So I started working on this at 11 am.  We pulled the pieces out of the box, I started taking pictures, then we started reading through the instructions.  Looking at the full color manual I noticed my pulse quickening.  Taking pictures of all the bags of ALL the pieces I started hyperventilating.  How can something that looks so fun really take that many pieces?  How the heck am I going to put it together?  Because even though my oldest is 7 almost 8 there is no way he can put this together all by himself.  Let me stop and give you all the experience I have at building with tiny little pieces.  Um...yep...basic Lego's (I can build a house, sheep, and a wagon), Trio Blocks ( these aren't small pieces so I can be more creative with them) that's all the experience I have had.

 So we started separating all the pieces (but kept them in their numbered bags), then we started at the beginning.  I went slowly from page to page one part then three parts and so on.  It literally took me a whole hour or longer just to build this raceway.  My oldest helped a lot along the way (I'd give him a set of directions like attach #9 to the #13, then attach that set to another #13 and a #12.).  But he didn't always want to help because it was taking so long.  I begged my husband to come help, but he said he wanted to see me do it so I would feel good about myself.  Around 12:30-12:45 I was done, and got to start taking pictures of the finished product and start filming my kids playing with it.  I have kept it up in our school area for the last 3-4 days and they play with it every day as part of school.  I highly recommend this product.  Not just because its a fun toy for children to play with, but that its a great home school tool.  Learning is great when we as teachers can make it fun and realistic/ or life like for our students.  I have a ton more pictures and some little video clips posted on Youtube.  Here is a link for you to follow to see my kid's reactions to this toy.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Did I run into any problems? Yes.  The first was while I was building it.  On page 14 of the manual it gave a set of instructions but it wasn't until page 16 or so that I realized that I didn't fully get what the instructions were saying, so I wrote down my notes in the manual.  Once this is built, it is pretty much impossible to take apart, so if something comes off or "breaks" accidentally its not easy to fix.  You really have to know how to put it together again, so to easily fix this problem I highly suggest keeping all the extra pieces, the manual, and even the box too.

Pros: super fun to play with, you get to teach/ learn reactions, speed, processes, sequencing/ what comes next, following directions, sciences

Cons: as mentioned above I did run into a few problems, but I easily came up with solutions, so at this point I don't have any cons to mention.

My Rating: Thumbs Up!

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