The very best Science resource that we own is our BrainBox Kit!!
We bought them a few years back when you could only buy them from one place in Australia, DealsDirect but we got a bargain price. Nowadays it seems that you can purchase them at a variety of places in Australia. IQ Toys is just one of them.
We bought one of the biggest sets as there was only one option at the time. But we’re very pleased that we did. This set is growing with my boys.
When we first received the kit Ethan was only 5 and Brayden 3 so we set aside the more complex components. We removed the simple components like lights, switches, fan, battery cases, connectors and base board and put them in a separate box which we made available to the boys.
With these simpler components the boys could explore series and parallel circuits that could light different sized bulbs, coloured light emitting Diodes, a fan or a combination of these. They could also select from several different types of switches. There were plenty of options and my boys were delighted!!
Sure you could just buy some wire, bulbs and batteries and explore similar concepts but have you ever tried to do that?! You need need to be multi-handed to hold all of those wires in place and beware the hot battery. They burn!!
BrainBox components are perfect for kids as they click together onto the board just like Lego. It’s a lot more manageable and a lot more fun.
Now that the boys are older they have been given access to all of the components in the kit. As this kit has over a thousand different circuits to build, I expect that the kit will keep the boys intrigued for years to come.
The kit comes with an instruction manual for all of the circuits. The diagrams are easy to follow. If a child can follow a Lego diagrams they should be able to follow these.
The components are numbered and correlate to the numbers on the diagram. The diagram also tells you which components are clicked to the base (a circled number one) and which components are placed on the second and third layers (circled twos or threes).
The text beside the diagram gives slight variations to the circuit to produce different results. So while a non-reader could build the diagrammed circuit they would need assistance or reading skills to try the variations described for most circuits.
We look at this as yet another feature of the kit that the boys would grow into.
My boys have their BrainBox Kits stored with their toys as they don’t consider them “work” at all. It’s not uncommon to find one or both boys building something from their kits. It’s a delight to see.
Hey, these kits are so popular that many adults have enjoyed “playing” with them. My Hubby even bought a pile of these kits for his school!!
Towards the end of the manual the circuits get quite complex. Although they can be built and enjoyed by a younger student, they probably wouldn’t understand how and why the circuit works. The kit we bought is actually marketed for use with lower secondary grade students. However I wouldn’t let the age guidelines deter you from purchasing this kit for any age!!
As my boys get older I would anticipate that the kit will continue to be used but perhaps the boys will create their own working circuits and diagrams.
We also have the Robot and Car kit. We’re not as impressed with this kit though. It’s good but it doesn’t have the same potential as the big kit.
However the instructions are a lot more user friendly for children who wouldn’t cope with the diagrams contained in the bigger kit.
Just a little advice though. Make sure the children remove the batteries from the battery cases once they are finished using the kits. We learned the hard way that leaking batteries are a major problem for your kit!!
Okay, I think you’ve got the picture now. We LOVE our BrainBoxes!! I wish I had these as a kid! Okay, I can’t deny that I HAVE played with the BrainBox too. In fact I recall having a little play with the kit the night I was SUPPOSED to be wrapping it up as a gift for the boys!! Hehehe…yep, that much fun!