Has everyone had a great half term? I can’t believe it’s Sunday already, this week has gone in a flash. The weather has been really good for half term in Coventry the sun made an appearance for most of the week. During half term, I was sent a tub of 60 stems to review from Learning Resources with the children. I had never heard of Stems the flexible 3D toy maker before so I was really excited to test it out with my son Zac and the children I look after.
Stems are flexible plastic pieces that seem to zip together to make different 3D toys. The tub I was sent is suitable for children age 5+ retails at £24.99 and contains 60 stems inside. I tested it out with Zac aged 8 and a 4-year-old boy. The 4-year-old needed some help to start with and he helped me make the large ball with my son Zac.
Here is our finished product:
It was very easy to create using the instructions that are supplied with the toy. The picture instructions are colourful and easy to follow. You can make about 8 different things from the instruction booklet included, this gives you an idea of how to make things using Stems. Once you’ve made a few from the booklet you can then start creating your own.
To begin with, the pieces felt quite stiff and were difficult to zip together. It didn’t take long before we got the hang of it. We were too careful, to begin with, we thought we would break the pieces if we zipped the pieces together with force. This definitely wouldn’t happen though, the pieces are made from strong flexible plastic that can be bent and pulled. The 4-year-old had no problem playing with them after I’d made the ball with him and he got an idea of what to do. He made a hat for his head and my son made a big cube.
I am really impressed with the Stems and would definitely recommend them. I do think the tub is overpriced for what it is, but I think most toys are nowadays, plastic is not cheap anymore. The tub of 60 allows you to make lots of things. The pieces stay together and don’t come apart when you play with them. We were rolling the ball down the stairs and throwing it to each other and not one piece fell apart. Even though your creation stays together it is still really easy to get it apart The children dismantled the ball for me and put all the pieces away in the tub easily enough.
This weekend Zac has made the acrobat, frog and a handbag from the included instruction booklet. Zac likes to follow instructions and hasn’t got a great imagination so he didn’t create anything himself. The 4-year old however has got a great imagination so he had no problem making different things that actually did look like what he wanted them to.
Learning Resources Stems are full of educational benefits that encourage children to explore 3D geometry whilst having fun.
Educational benefits are:
◦ Problem Solving
◦ Fine Motor Coordination
◦ Hand-Eye Coordination
I was sent the Stems to review with my children in return for an honest review, as always all thoughts and opinions remain my own.