I’m a big fan of toys which have educational value. Whether it be counting, stacking, colour association or any others that support a child’s development. But I have found that generally speaking, there isn’t much variation in toys that fit this description, whilst still being suitable for younger children. So I was really excited when I was given this new SmartMax set to review for KIDLY. Which is suitable from 12 months, and has all of the educational attributes I look for in a toy.
Adventures of Mummy and Me Review – on Behalf of KIDLY
KIDLY is an online store, run by parents for parents. They search high and low to find genuinely cool & useful stuff for babies. All in the name of making young parents’ lives easier.
What is Smartmax and How Does it Work?
Smartmax is a cool new range of magnetic construction toys. Designed to help kids build & play, whilst developing essential learning skills.
Each of the bars have magnetic north and south poles depending on their colour, whilst the balls are attracted to all of the bar colours. This means that certain bars can connect to each other, and therefore be used alongside the metal balls in building and construction play.
The pieces are made of really strong materials that are welded together for final assembly, making it impossible for toddlers to tear them apart. They’re also nice big pieces, which are perfect for little hands to grab. Giving you the piece of mind that your little one isn’t going to chew or swallow it.
The packaging not only makes it obvious what is inside the box, but also the playtime possibilities available with the toy. I instantly realised I could use this toy not only for its intended purpose of building/constructing, but also to learn about colours and counting.
My initial thoughts upon opening the box were “oh wow”, as I’d instantly had a flashback to a similar toy I myself had played with as a child – Albeit when I was a bit older than Chase is now.
I did think that it would be a great toy that both Chase and
Daddy us as his parents could play with together as a family. Which would really encourage him with his creativity and logical thinking if he’s watching us play too.
What’s Inside The Box?
This particular box is a Start set – Which aims to be your basic kit to get you going.
It contains 12 small, and 3 large magnetic bars, as well as 7 metal balls. You can easily build up your collection further, by purchasing additional packs from SmartMax’s extensive range.
Taking it for a Test Drive
Chase was initially confused as to what he had to do. At 17 months old, the first thing he did was pick up a bar, and try to chew it. He then proceeded to use the balls as bowling practice across the room. We have solid wood floors, so the loud “clunk” and subsequent whirring of them hitting and rolling across the floor was apparently highly entertaining.
However after a little while of watching Daddy playing with and connecting the bars together, he started to come forward and pick up the pieces himself and connect them together. He was just amazed that the pieces could “attach” together seemingly by magic, and constantly wanted to show us what he had made.
We then decided to try a different approach. So we started to build small shapes leaving only one or two pieces behind for Chase, to see what he would do. This proved really successful, as he immediately started picking up the final pieces without prompt, and placing them on top of the construction. Just as he had just watched us do before.
At one point, he even decided he wanted to try and take his toy into the kitchen, and so picked it up with both hands and tried to walk off with it… Unfortunately the construction split in two – much to his dismay. Though he quickly recovered, and just took the remaining piece (very slowly and delicately) into the kitchen to place on his table as a souvenir of his building.
What About Learning & Development?
SmartMax toys help to stimulate a wide of learning and development opportunities in young children. The bars help with shape and colour recognition, as well as offering the opportunity to learn numbers and counting. Whilst overall, the set provides the perfect base for encouraging creativity, logical thinking and hand-eye coordination.
What’s the Cost?
In a short time, this has quickly become one of Chase’s favourite toys. Actually, a daily staple in his play routine.
As a parent, I really liked the fact the set is safe to use from such as young age (12m+). It’s toddler-proof from both eating and breaking, and it’s really easy to just wipe clean with a cloth. The solid bright bars are really engaging; which will later help him in learning colours, counting and shapes through building.
Overall, Chase really enjoyed playing with the SmartMax Magnetic Discovery set, and actually so did we. Daddy has now decided that we need to get more pieces so that
he Chase can build more creations. But this is the perfect starter set.
Disclaimer: I was provided with this SmartMax Starter Set as part of a Parent Testing panel for KIDLY. All views in this review are 100% my own. All photos used in this review belong to KIDLY and adventuresofmummyandme.