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Introduce the fundamentals of the engineering design process

I love educational products that have the magical power of keeping your child engaged and learning for hours. In preschool and lower elementary school, my children were drawn to this building toy. They would sit together and build day after day, coming up with a new design each time. When they made a car move or swing set swing, their faces would light up! I would pull it out during down time and they couldn't help but start building. This set was also always a hit during playdates and my go to gift for a kindergarten birthday.

The current focus in elementary education on engineering is for a good reason. Practicing the fundamentals of the engineering design process help develop problem solving skills. So, what could be better than learning these fundamentals while building with giant gumdrops, swirled candy sticks, and jumbo candy pieces?

Engineering is Elementary has developed a five-step engineering design process for elementary students, the steps are summarized here:

  • Ask—identify the problem

  • Imagine—brainstorm and select a solution to test

  • Plan—specify the design and materials

  • Create—make and test a model

  • Improve—ask how the design can be even better and start the cycle again

Children instinctively go through this process while building their creations. This creates a great foundation for them once they move to a more complex toy or challenge. Learning these problem solving skills encourages them to learn from failure and develop confidence in their ability to persevere. Actively engaging in the design process helps to develop creative-thinking and critical-thinking skills which are both essential components of problem solving.

Creative Thinking

The fun colors and shapes included in this set will draw your child in and tap into their natural curiosity. Children can't help but experiment by connecting the candy shaped pieces. The shapes and parts allow your child to build structures with moving parts like candy cars and gum drop swing sets. You will be amazed at what their imagination can bring to life with this set.

Critical Thinking

The set includes 14 different pieces and each piece can be used in several ways. Children will experiment with the pieces to figure out how they work. They will see that some pieces can serve as wheels while others cannot. Without realizing it, they will sort through and classify the pieces by function. As their creations get more complex, you will see your child evaluate the design and choose the pieces carefully. These critical thinking skills help teach children how to analyze a problem, or an idea, into parts in order to solve it.

Check out the candy building set.


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