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GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine Review: Courtesy of The School Shop

I love shopping at The School Shop for school books, supplies, and toys for my children. During a recent shopping trip, my husband and daughter explored the educational games and toys while I perused the preschool workbooks with my son. After striking up a conversation about STEM toys with Christy Komnick, one of the owners, my husband mentioned the review section on The Parenting Patch. When Christy then offered me the chance to review GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine, I eagerly accepted the opportunity.

GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine

About GoldieBlox

GoldieBlox founder and CEO Debbie Sterling did not understand the field of engineering until her high school math teacher suggested that she pursue the major in college. After graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering/Product Design, Sterling found herself bothered by how few women were in the program and thus became obsessed with the notion of “disrupting the pink aisle” with a toy that would introduce girls to the joy of engineering at a young age. The goal of GoldieBlox is to get girls building. GoldieBlox story and construction sets bolster confidence in spatial skills while giving young inventors the tools needed to build and create amazing things by tapping into the strong verbal skills of girls. Construction toys develop an early interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields, and GoldieBlox aims to disrupt the pink aisle and inspire the future generation of female engineers. Plus, boys love GoldieBlox too!

Price

GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine currently retails for $29.99. The engineering kit comes with one storybook, five animal figurines, one pegboard, five wheels, ten axles, five blocks, five washers, one crank, and one ribbon. Although other building kits with a similar number of pieces sell for the same price or less, the storybook in GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine offers a unique touch that especially appeals to little girls. I therefore believe that GoldieBlox delivers high value for a reasonable price.

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Performance

When I first opened the GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine box, I was incredibly excited to discover the storybook that accompanies the building pieces. I have always loved reading as my favorite way of learning, and I love reading to my kids. My daughter also loves books, so including a storybook as a way to introduce girls to basic engineering principals seems ideal to me. GoldieBlox definitely understands the more verbal nature of girls, and the GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine set taps into that strength.

Inside the GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine Box GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine Pieces

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Reading the GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine Book Playing with GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine 1

Although the company recommends GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine for kids between the ages of 4 and 9, my 3-year-old preschooler loves playing with hers already. She excitedly asks to play with her new “school time toy” multiple times a day. She will play with the pieces on her own a bit but especially likes when I help her build some of the suggested ideas in the back of the storybook. With her interest in the engineering toy already high, I am confident that my daughter will continue to play with GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine as she grows.

GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine aims to builds spatial skills, engineering principles, and confidence in problem-solving, and I believe that the toy succeeds. Even at her young age, my daughter can already follow along to the story in the book, helping me build the first design. She can also look at the instructions in the back of the book and help me build the additional design ideas. She has also created her own simple designs using the pieces in the kit. She was especially proud of the table that she made my putting all the axels along two edges of the pegboard! I am excited to watch as my daughter continues to explore basic STEM concepts with her new toy.

As much as my daughter loves her new toy now, she is equally excite to her GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine with her baby brother when he gets old enough not to choke on the small pieces! Although touted as a engineering toy for girls, GoldieBlox does point out that little boys love the toy too. I particularly appreciate the many colors — not just pink — used for the pieces. I try hard not to gender my children, which includes not buying only pink toys for my daughter. Her favorite color may be pink, but I strive to expose her to all colors of the rainbow. Likewise, I want my son to play with toys of all colors including pink. The primarily pink, blue, yellow, and purple of GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine shows that GoldieBlox seeks to include colors from all over the rainbow, which I fully support.

Playing with GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine 2 Playing with GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine 3

Playing with GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine 4 Playing with GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine 5

My only critique of GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine is that the plastic axels are sometimes difficult to remove from the pegboard. My daughter often must ask for my assistance in removing the axels from the board, and even I sometimes need to use my rubber jar opener to grasp and pull out the pieces. However, the tightness of some of the pieces is a minor complaint, and all the benefits of the toy far outweigh the slight issue.

Finally, I love the variety of other kits and expansion packs that GoldieBlox offers in addition to GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine. I already have my eye on GoldieBlox and the Parade Float as well as the Expansion Pack: Get ‘Em All!, which contains 98 extra parts. GoldieBlox offers so many fun construction kits for young children, all at a reasonable price and all of which get girls (and boys) building!

Playing with GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine 6 Playing with GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine 7

Playing with GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine 8

Final Verdict

If you are a searching for a building toy that emphasizes STEM concepts for girls, I highly recommend GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine. I especially love that the toy comes with a storybook, which taps into the strong verbal skills of girls to teach engineering skills. Most telling, my preschooler daughter loves playing with her new toy and asks multiple times a day to play with her GoldieBlox set. She also cannot wait to share the toy with her little brother. GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine is a child-approved STEM toy that appeals especially to girls. For an education toy that will grow with your child for many years, look no further than GoldieBlox!

The School Shop

The School Shop carries a full line of classroom decoratives, teacher materials, supplies, and resources as well as educational toys, games, puzzles, and crafts. For more information, visit The School Shop website or follow The School Shop on Facebook.

Image Credits

GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine © 2015 Heather Johnson
Inside the GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine Box © 2015 Heather Johnson
GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine Pieces © 2015 Heather Johnson
Reading the GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine Book © 2015 Heather Johnson
Playing with GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine 1 © 2015 Heather Johnson
Playing with GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine 2 © 2015 Heather Johnson
Playing with GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine 3 © 2015 Heather Johnson
Playing with GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine 4 © 2015 Heather Johnson
Playing with GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine 5 © 2015 Heather Johnson
Playing with GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine 6 © 2015 Heather Johnson
Playing with GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine 7 © 2015 Heather Johnson
Playing with GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine 8 © 2015 Heather Johnson

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Written by Heather Johnson

Heather is a writer, librarian, linguist, wife, and mother who loves her husband, children, dogs, and cats. She has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in creative writing and master's degrees in library and information science and English studies with a concentration in linguistics.

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