GoldieBlox: making engineering fun for girls
Construction toys for girls because building isn't just for boys.
Once upon a time there lived a girl called Goldie.
No, not Goldilocks. That’s an entirely different story altogether. They may both have an inquisitive nature, but that’s where the similarities end.
Goldie is a girl who loves to invent and build.
Created by US engineer Debbie Sterling, Goldie is face of GoldieBlox – a new range of construction toys designed specifically for girls.
There are certain academic subjects that are traditionally male dominated: science, engineering and technology. Only a couple of years ago, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) acknowledged that girls are still less likely to study these subjects at school and fewer still begin careers in those fields.
You could argue that this problem begins in childhood. Constructions toys are much more likely to be marketed at boys than girls. Take a look at how toys are advertised on television – boys don’t get to play with dolls and girls don’t build things.
This is why Debbie developed the GoldieBlox range: she wants to shake things up and challenge that perception.
GoldieBlox is a new toy range aimed primarily at girls aged between four and 9. It aims to spark an interest in engineering within young girls, to encourage them to learn more about the subject.
I was given a selection of sets for Olivia – and William if he was interested – to try out: the Dunk Tank, Parade Float and Spinning Wheel.
Each kit introduces children to a different, basic engineering concept (e.g. hinges, wheels and axles and belt drives) and the boxes are colourful and eye-catching.
My children couldn’t wait to get started.
As well as having all the parts necessary to make the model on the front of the box, each kit also comes with a storybook that incorporates the act of building the model into the story itself (except the Dunk Tank kit, which has its instructions separate to the story).
This really helps to engage the child and makes the act of building the model fun.
Although the range is obviously more geared towards girls, I thought the sets were more unisex than other types of construction kits available. William liked getting involved just as much as Olivia.
Both of my children were excited when they first saw the GoldieBlox sets and this sentiment hasn’t dwindled yet. They both enjoy getting out all the parts and building the models.
Olivia currently favours the Spinning Wheel kit while William adores the Dunk Tank (mainly because it involves dropping characters into a glass of water from a tall h8).
You might think that the GoldieBlox range is a little restrictive; after all, it only promote one type of model on the front of each box. But this isn’t true.
The storybook that comes with each set also includes ideas of other models to build and also encourages children to invent their own.
One thing that I would say, is that the parts can sometimes be hard to push together and may require more strength than a small child might have. It can be useful to have a parent on hand to help out.
But this is a minor niggle – at least you know that the models won’t fall apart easily once built.
If you’d like to see the GoldieBlox sets in action, you can watch them in my summer holiday highlights video:
Sets in the GoldieBlox range are priced at about £19.99 each, although it will differ according to the product on sale.
The range is currently available to buy from Amazon and these sets would definitely make a fantastic Christmas gift for young children (oops, did I mention the ‘C’ word already?).
Please note: I was given the 3 GoldieBlox sets for free in exchange for this review. However, all thoughts and opinions are mine and are ten0% honest.