Monday, 14 May 2018

Engino STEM QBoidz Construction Kit for Young Children - Review


Engino STEM QBoidz is a construction kit designed for young children with stacking and rotational joints. We love the bright colours and variety of building ideas in this kit, which will appeal to boys and girls with a wide range of interests.

Qboidz are aimed at preschool-aged children from 3 to 6 years.

Engino sent us their new STEM QBoidz E10 kit with lots of bricks to get creative. We reviewed it with a group of kids ranging in ages from 3 to 9.

Disclaimer: Engino sent us the Qboidz kit to review. As always our views are our own.

What's in the box & Storage



The STEM QBoidz E10 kit, comes in a large plastic storage box with a lid which is school storage friendly. The box will slide into the standard tray storage units in schools and preschools. The box also fits into the IKEA Kallax unit which we use at home to store all our toys and gadgets.



The kit has 188 building pieces and instruction booklets for 90 models. The pieces include blocks, blocks with pegs, straight rods, curved rods, axes, wheels and decorative pieces like flags and quarter circle shapes.

Note there are enough pieces to build about 3 of the smaller models at the same time before you need to break up models to find the right pieces for other models. The bigger models will use most of the pieces in the box.






Two children can comfortably build models with one kit. Engino also sells classroom kits and recommend 1 kit per 2 children.

The QBoidz range of kits come in different box sizes. The E10 is the biggest size and more suitable for schools and preschools. There are other kits ranging from 2in1 model kits to 30in1 model kits. They are all compatible so you can build the construction system up over time.

Building System

QBoidz introduces a block stacking system to the traditional click building system that Engino uses. The blocks can stack onto each other as well as click on joints on the side of some blocks. QBoidz is also compatible with other Engino Toy System sets. There is a lot of scope to expand the construction set as your child grows.

The plastic pieces feel robust and come in a fantastic range of colours - no gender stereotyping here!

The kids we tested QBoidz on found building with this system easy and intuitive.

Some wanted to follow the building instructions to create a model. Others just picked up the pieces and built their own creations. It's a great construction system to get creative because of the variety of shapes and movement you can create.



Building Instructions Print and Online

The E10 kit comes with lots of printed building instruction booklets. Each booklet contains 2 models with step-by-step instructions. The kids that tested QBoidz could easily find the pieces and follow the instructions independently to make the models.

If you want to make the other models you need to visit the Engino website (scroll to find QBoidz) or download the app - Engino KidCAD (available in Apple, Android and Microsoft Appstores). Unfortunately, there's not an app for the Amazon Fire tablets.

The digital building instructions are brilliant. They provide a step-by-step experience and show the pieces and how to put them together in 3D. You can tap through each step, and also go back if you've made a mistake.



The app is easy to use by young children. Parents should note that there are sharing buttons in the app which takes you off to Facebook, Youtube and the Engino Shop online. We couldn't find a way to switch these options off if a child is using the app. The app is available in English or Portuguese.

Verdict

At first glance the Engino QBoidz construction set can look like just another building toy for young kids. The more I explored and played with it, the more impressed I was with the possibilities.

When my kids where young we invested in LEGO Duplo. As much as I love LEGO Duplo, it is very different to QBoidz. I think if QBoidz was available, I would have invested in the Engino Toy System.

The QBoidz set offer a lot of variety, you can build a building, or a vehicle or an animal. I love the different shapes you can create and it's easy to build movement into your model with the peg and hole system.

Qboidz is definitely a construction toy to consider for young children from ages 3+. What's more, the system will grow with your child and we particularly like that it is compatible with sets for older children. It's a well designed and engineered building toy. Did we already say, we love the colours?





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