July 31, 2015

Maker Studio: Propellers Set~ Become An Engineer! {Product Review}

My boys love to build. They love tinkering with stuff and are big time LEGO fans. I was eager to turn them loose on the Maker Studio: Propellers Set I received to review from ThinkFun to see what they thought about it!
Maker Studio: Propellers Set Product Review

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Product Summary

Maker Studio is a line products from ThinkFun designed to ignite imagination, and foster a love of engineering. Designed by engineers, these fun sets are the ideal toy for budding engineers. 

Maker Studio~ Propellers Set, contains all you need to turn a simple empty pop bottle or chips can into a helicopter, biplane, windmill and more! 
For each build, you are even given engineering challenges--ways to engage your brain to experiment as you come up with a solution. You can follow the designs included, or explore and create your own!

This set is geared for ages 7 to adult and retails on Amazon for $19.99.

How Did We Use This Product?

The boys knew that this product was coming, and when it arrived, they fought over who was going to open the box first. I got them set up at the table and let Little Britches dive in with Baby Britches looking on. 
Diving into the build
Checking out the different designs
Little Britches analyzed all the pieces as they were revealed...while I snagged the directions to see what was supposed to happen. The directions gives you a complete list of parts/inventory, extra things that will be needed, and simple steps for getting started. There is also a parts explanation listing how each part can be used. 

Also included with the set is a ringed card set called Engineering Challenges & Tips. These are extra engineering challenges to do after the building of the designs. There are two for each build, plus two bonus challenges. These are fun extras like making the helicopter's tail propeller turn, or making the two plane props spin at the same time.
After we opened everything up, Little Britches flipped through the book and decided to go for the windmill as his first design since it was the only one that worked with a toilet paper tube. We didn't have the suggested chips canister. He worked through the design directions and was able to figure everything out!

He loved working through the building plans...though he didn't want to try the engineering challenges. He decided to take it apart and build his own creation for his second go!

A double prop helicopter

Baby Britches enjoying flying the new creation

What Are Our Thoughts on This Product?

Little Britches (Age 9) really enjoyed using the Propellers Set and was able to follow the design plans. The only thing he said was confusing was that he got a little confused on following the red lines to where the placement of each part was supposed to go. He had to take apart things a few times before he got it right.
Like these design plans
I liked watching Little Britches mind work as he analyzed how everything went together. I liked that it was simple to just open and go...as long as we had the right base--like the toilet paper roll. I plan on scrounging up some small Pringles cans and pop bottles for him to play with and see how he does with other designs. I think the pieces of the set were well made out of heavy duty plastic and Little Britches never felt like he was going break them as he was working them.

I absolutely think that we will be using this set in the future. I know the boys will be looking for ways to build more things out of these. 

I am now very interested in checking out the Maker Studio: Gears Set and Maker Studio: Winches Set because I know the boys would love playing and building with those too. I also like that it appears the set can be mixed and matched which takes them to another level!
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