Recommended Toys

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Postby tamarind » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:33 pm

I highly recommend the KNEX toys. These are much more interesting and educational compared to Lego.

I bought these sets from www.amazon.com :

K'NEX EDUCATION Intro to Simple Machines: Gears- Investigate and experiment with 6 functioning gear models designed to demonstrate science and technology concepts. 198 pieces.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000O910E2

K'NEX EDUCATION Intro to Simple Machines: Wheels, Axels and Inclined Planes- Investigate and experiment with 7 functioning Wheel & Axle and Inclined Plane models.221 pieces.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000O94QU2

These toys are for ages 8 and above. The parts are very small and it is very challenging to assemble. However, my boy, who will be 7 years old later this year, loves the challenge and he can try for a few hours to assemble the model without asking for help. He is exhilarated each time he completes a new model on his own. These toys are not only educational, they also train kids to focus, persevere, develop problem solving skills and also develop their fine motor skills.

Refer to the Knex website for more information :
http://www.knex.com/Shop/product.php?productid=16802

Sadly, these great toys are not for sale in Singapore where parents prefer to spend their money on PSPs and ipads for their kids.

I bought them directly from www.amazon.com through vpost.
Last edited by tamarind on Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby tamarind » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:14 pm

I also recommend the ZOOB toys for ages 6+. My boy started playing with them at about 5 years old.

http://www.infinitoy.com/

How To ZOOB
ZOOB has 5 pieces that snap together 20 ways, so you won’t need any special pieces to build anything that you want to build. Because it’s so easy to use and so versatile, we think it’s the best open-ended building system on the market (of course we do!).

Where Does ZOOB Come From?
ZOOB’s shape is inspired by the nucleotides (the basic structural units of nucleic acids) that make up DNA. Based on the way things connect, move and transform in nature, ZOOB captures dynamic movement, unlike traditional “stacking” or “hub & spoke” construction sets.

Zoob has a truly scientific basis & offers open-ended play for all ages. Zoob mobility mirrors the natural movement of people, animals, and machines. Five basic shapes fit together in 20 different ways (designed from the 5 nucleic acids; the building blocks of life.) Children & adults can build anything they want to build. ZOOB pieces are intuitive enough for 6 year-olds to play with & academically robust enough that college professors use them to model items such as DNA double helixes, anatomic parts, architectural & mechanical designs.

We have tons of Lego, but my boy likes ZOOB and KNEX far better than Lego. ZOOB used to be sold at Robinsons, but I heard it is sold out locally.

I bought my set from this USA website :
http://www.fatbraintoys.com/toy_compani ... ob_250.cfm

I also bought this remote control set from amazon :
http://www.amazon.com/Zoob-12060-ZoobMo ... B0010EBS56

Shipping is expensive, I think I paid about SGD50 for shipping alone. Total cost including shipping is about SGD120, it is fine for me since I used to pay SGD150 for a set of Lego toys. It is definitely far more educational and interesting compared to Lego.

Note: I simply leave the KNEX and ZOOB toys to my boy and he figured out how to assemble them on their own. He knows that I am very busy and he has to wait for a very long time before I have time to help him, so he might as well figure it out himself. :wink: Other kids may require much more help from parents.

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Postby tamarind » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:41 pm

insider,
If you intend to buy KNEX for childcare centers, note that the parts in the sets that I recommended are very small, not suitable for young kids who tend to swallow things. The recommended age is 8+ for those sets. I bought for my boy when he just turned 6 years old because we don't have younger kids around.

KNEX has other sets for younger kids :
http://www.knex.com/Shop/theme_search.p ... pre-school

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Postby tamarind » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:27 pm

insider wrote:
tamarind wrote:insider,
If you intend to buy KNEX for childcare centers, note that the parts in the sets that I recommended are very small, not suitable for young kids who tend to swallow things. The recommended age is 8+ for those sets. I bought for my boy when he just turned 6 years old because we don't have younger kids around.

KNEX has other sets for younger kids :
http://www.knex.com/Shop/theme_search.p ... pre-school


Thanks for the reminder!

If buy those with small parts will be for student care kids...

Those sets for younger kids don't look as exciting as the REAL thing...

Think we share a same belief here that kids should be exposed to 'healthier' toys instead of those electronic gadgets. Parents should have faith that kids are able to develop patience, perseverance and gain a lot of other cognitive and physical benefits and to play on own (without 'disturbing' us or we 'disturbing' them) if they start them from the right footing from young...


I feel sad that most parents in Singapore would rather buy PSPs, iphones, ipads for their kids to play with. The result is that the toys selection in local stores is pathetic. There are so many excellent toys in the USA which are not available in Singapore :
http://www.fatbraintoys.com/toys/toy_ca ... /index.cfm

Actually I feel that if given a choice between a very interesting construction toy and electronic/video games, kids will find it much more satisfying to build something using the construction toy. Sadly, most parents find it easier to just give them a PSP, and choose to ignore the negative effects of electronic/video games.

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Postby tamarind » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:31 pm

insider wrote:
tamarind wrote:I highly recommend the KNEX toys. These are much more interesting and educational compared to Lego.

I bought them directly from www.amazon.com through vpost.


Tamarind,

What's the reason of you sending via vpost and not amazon direct? Is it you got other items from other vendors in US to ship items together?

Am thinking of ordering both the gears and the simple machine sets (personal sets for son) and sending direct via amazon and so would like to hear from you to see whether can save some $$$...


Amazon does not ship toys direct to Singapore, only books and DVDs. vpost is the only choice I have.

I do combine with other vendors and sometimes with other parents to share the shipping cost.

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Postby Sun_2010 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:15 pm

tamarind wrote:
insider wrote:
tamarind wrote:I highly recommend the KNEX toys. These are much more interesting and educational compared to Lego.

I bought them directly from www.amazon.com through vpost.


Tamarind,

What's the reason of you sending via vpost and not amazon direct? Is it you got other items from other vendors in US to ship items together?

Am thinking of ordering both the gears and the simple machine sets (personal sets for son) and sending direct via amazon and so would like to hear from you to see whether can save some $$$...


Tamarind, this set is so cool - i was searching for something like this for DD . Do let me know if you are ordering something in near future, i would like to order the one

Amazon does not ship toys direct to Singapore, only books and DVDs. vpost is the only choice I have.

I do combine with other vendors and sometimes with other parents to share the shipping cost.


Tamarind,

I am interested in the KNEX in your link.
To think i was searching for some such thing for DD.

If you are ordering something in near future , do pm me :pray: .
Thanks

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Postby tamarind » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:01 pm

insider,
You are welcome :D

I have been looking at this set for a long time :

http://www.amazon.com/Elenco-SC-300-Sna ... =pd_sim__5

Image

It is very educational and has over 300+ 5-star reviews. I will buy this when my son is tired of playing with his KNEX.

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Postby tamarind » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:03 pm

Sun_2010 wrote:
Tamarind,

I am interested in the KNEX in your link.
To think i was searching for some such thing for DD.

If you are ordering something in near future , do pm me :pray: .
Thanks


I am not sure when I will be ordering again, may be you can join other parents :D

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Postby tamarind » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:58 am

insider wrote:I am aghast that nowadays, many youth cannot sit still for more than 60 seconds before they HAVE to whip out their PSP, plug themselves in, and play. They litereally cannot think of anything else to do.


Once I bought my boy's ZOOB toys to my class of students age about 18 years old. I divided them into groups of 5, and asked each group to follow the instructions and build a complicated structure like this :

Image

Half the class struggled and could not succeed in building the required structure. Some of them became very frustrated. All these students are not stupid, they have O level aggregate scores of 14 or lower. However, I observe that their fine motor skills and visual perception are not very good. This is the result of playing only with computer games, PSPS, etc.

In comparison, my 5 year old boy could complete all the complicated structures on his own, even if he had to spend a few hours trying to build each one. He has more patience and determination than those 18 year old students. Before he turned 5 years old, he could only sit still for about 3 minutes. So I believe that choosing the right type of toys really helps.
Last edited by tamarind on Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Brenda10 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:05 am

tamarind wrote:I have been looking at this set for a long time :

http://www.amazon.com/Elenco-SC-300-Sna ... =pd_sim__5

Image

It is very educational and has over 300+ 5-star reviews. I will buy this when my son is tired of playing with his KNEX.



Hi Tamarind

We like this set and think it's a good experiment for dd since she has learnt the topic of Electricity ast year.

BTW, we had bought the following set (178 sets) few years ago during the Book Fair held at Suntec and I can see dd is really enjoyed fixing all these items.

http://www.amazon.com/KNex-Education-In ... pd_sim_t_1

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