Review: GoldieBlox, Toys For Girls

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Untitled design (7)With the thousands of toys stocking the shelves of our local stores, it is often times a daunting task to find a toy that is not only fun, but gets you child to think and learn. This is especially challenging when wandering down the aisle of toys for girls. Toys for girls have traditionally been limited to dolls, stuffed animals, and an endless array of things that are pink, frilly and cute.

The makers of GoldieBlox Parade Float and Dunk Tank Building Sets toys have changed that, bringing practical, fun, learning toys to the girl aisle of the toy store.

With more and more young women entering the STEM fields for careers, there has been an increasing demand for girl’s toys that provide STEM learning, that don’t necessarily come out of the “boy” toy aisle. Goldieblox are the perfect answer for the parent that wants to encourage STEM learning, but still have a toy that feels like a traditional “girl” toy.

I have purchased two GoldieBlox kits for my daughter. They provide her with hours of entertainment, and fun. They are fantastic toys for having a family learning experience, all of us getting involved with building and learning. I especially love watching her mind work at problem solving and creative thinking to make new inventions.

PROS

The biggest positive point about the GoldieBlox kits is that they are toys with a purpose. They are disguised as fun, and are certainly cute, but there is a load of learning in every box. It isn’t just a mindless toy. Each kit has a principal of engineering and physics to teach your child. This definitely gives your child a head start with learning in school.

The instructions for building the kit are easy to follow. The instructions have both pictures and word directions. Even your littlest learner can easily build the kit by following the pictures. The directions are fairly straight forward, so parents can easily guide their child should they need help. It is also fun that the instructions are written as a story so that there is some context to make the learning and building more interesting.

The pieces in the kits are kid friendly sized. The pieces are small enough for little hands to hold on to, but big enough to make them safe for little ones. They are also big enough that they won’t get lost easily on carpet or on the floor. This is often a problem with toys like LEGOs which have super tiny pieces that can vanish in the blink of an eye, and then turn up as a horrible sound in the vacuum!

The pieces for each kit work with the pieces in other kits. If you buy multiple kits, you end up with lots of similar pieces that can all work together. The pieces are simple to use and easy to put together. When kits are put together, the options for building bigger and more extravagant inventions becomes exponential.

CONS

The science principal explanations are weak. GoldieBlox are supposed to teach girls about the principals of science, engineering and physics. If you are a parent that doesn’t have a strong background in these principals, there isn’t much information in the kits to help a parent guide their child in learning the basics. It would be nice to have some better explanations for the science.

Mass produced pieces don’t always fit together well. This is a problem that we have encountered with our kits. The connecting blocks have holes that are too big for the rods and the end result is an invention that is wobbly or falls apart. A piece of tape would likely fix this problem, but isn’t the most ideal solution.

Goldie is still a cute little blonde. This company is trying to break the stereotype that little girls should be “princesses”. However, their main character, Goldie, is a cute little blonde girl, not unlike Barbie or the most recent Disney princess. Their most recent advertising push is making the product more diverse, showing little girls of all backgrounds, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they are still using the cute little blonde to sell the product.

Engineering isn’t the only science. If your little girl is into bugs and frogs and the natural sciences, this toy leaves them behind. While fantastic for the builders and inventors, this toy is not a great fit for the girl that wants to know more about biology or chemistry. It sure would be fun to see GoldieBlox find a way to incorporate these science principals into their kits.

 Over all, the GoldieBlox kits are a fantastic toy for little girls or little boys. Aside from the fact that they use the stereotypical cute blonde to sell their product, this is a wonderful toy for teaching your child about some science basics, and encouraging our daughters to be thinkers. The fact of the matter is that there needs to be more thinking toys for both boys and girls, if Americans are going to compete in the growing global market. So, thank you GoldieBlox for giving our children a head start to being thoughtful, science minded individuals!

Check out the latest products GoldieBlox Spinning Machine, Parade Float and Dunk Tank Building Sets at http://www.goldieblox.com/ and let me know your thoughts.

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