Children need to be challenged in various ways for them to develop their minds and their characters. That is one of the reasons why I like the Zoob Challenge set. While most building toy sets will come with some examples of things to build, or perhaps instructions for a specific model, this one takes a completely different angle.
Let’s take a closer look at this unique Zoob building set. The set was first released as the Zoob Challenge Set, but it has recently been updated and is now sold as The Zoob STEM Challenge.
The Zoob S.T.E.M. Challenge
- Suggested age: 8 years and older
- Number of pieces: 175 classic Zoob pieces (plus elastic bands, wheels, axles and other building materials)
- List price: $50.00
- 5 Instruction guides to build 40 creations (but not for the challenges)
- Amazon customer rating: 4.5 / 5
- Replay value: very high
The set comes with a good number of the classic Zoob pieces to allow for a variety of models to be built and there are building ideas included for 40 creations. It sounds no different from the myriads of other building toys out there, but this is also where the similarity stops.
The Zoob building toys already have the unique feature that the models have movable joints. Add to this the challenge cards that offer 26 different challenges (plus 9 bonus challenges) as well as the extra items to use for these challenges and you have yourself a game-changer. The children no longer simply follow instructions to build something and then explore their own ideas. They are given a set of challenges that will stretch their imaginations and develop those critical STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills that are targeted by educators.
The set also teaches children teamwork and collaboration skills when they work together to solve challenges. Once a solution to a challenge has been found it can be modified and improved, typical of what happens in the real-life engineering world.
What people liked about this set:
- Enjoyed by kids off all ages, from 5 years to adult.
- Great for boys or girls.
- Useful for developing creativity and imagination
- Good quality pieces
I have not seen any negative reviews on this set, but small children can have difficulty putting the pieces together. Although younger children will be able to build some of the models, they might not be able to tackle the challenges yet.
This set, with the 26 challenges included, is sure to keep children (and adults) busy for hours. Some teachers use this set in the classroom as a tool to develop critical thinking. Due to the children enjoying it so much it also becomes a motivator to complete tasks and be allowed to go and play. These types of constructive, mind-challenging toys are a great way to keep children busy between tasks in the classroom.
Here is a short video that shows some of the challenges and gives a few different examples of how one of the challenges can be solved.
This set is definitely on my list of top 10 building toys. The challenges can be solved in different ways and the children are sure to try new designs as they get older, refining their inventions as they learn how things work. It will definitely be played with over and over again. You can also increase the play options by adding one of the basic Zoob sets to have more building pieces to work with, or to have more children playing together at the same time.
Get the Zoob Challenge set and make sure your kids have it in their toy cupboard, they will learn a lot from it.
Do you or your kids have this set? Have you completed all the challenges? Leave a comment below and share your experiences.