Get this great product here: ThinkFun Maker Studio – Propellers Building Kit
I have two very creative kids, aged 5 and 7, and I knew when I saw this ThinkFun Maker Studios Propeller Kit that we were going to have a lot of fun. I love the idea of providing all the pieces and adding in common household items like toilet paper rolls and soda bottles to complete the kit. It’s a neat way to reuse these items before they go into the recycling bin.
We chose first to do the toilet paper roll windmill. The other projects look great, but we didn’t have a 2 L soda bottle or potato chip can (like from Pringles) in the house, plus those were a bit more complex in their construction, so with younger kids it was good to start with a basic project anyways. It took me a bit to realize that the plastic tool included is used to punch holes in the cardboard – this tool is actually really cleverly designed and works perfectly to punch the correct sized hole in the cardboard tube. I like the way that the black rubber circular pieces lock into the plastic parts to hold everything in place. I will mention that it’s important to make sure the holes are lined up directly across each other on the paper tube or else the windmill will not be able to properly turn. I got my holes a bit off the first time, but was able to redo them to fix it. The proportions are a bit off from the drawings in the instruction manual for the windmill – the drawings show the cardboard tube as a lot taller compared to the windmill blades, but clearly with a toilet paper roll (as they say to use), it ends up with a much shorter windmill. It still works well though and was a lot of fun to put together with my kids.
I really like the included flip book of ideas to ask additional questions and get kids thinking about how to modify their designs to do things like get the propellers going on their own (with the aid of rubber bands and the like). My kids are a bit young for most of these, but I could see them being really great ways to get extra scientific thought out of older kids.
It’s also fun that there can be extra creativity after the item is done according to the instructions. My daughter wasn’t in the mood to help with actually assembling our windmill, but grabbed it afterwards and had fun with her markers decorating the cardboard tube to make it extra special!
I’m very glad that I was able to receive this as a free promotional sample in order to evaluate and provide my honest review.