When Cara was initially gifted the IQ Builder (set of 164 pieces) for her 4th birthday from grandma, she played with it for a couple of weeks before deeming it was too hard and moved on to some LOL Suprise! dolls instead. However, one year on, with a lot more dexterity, patience and imagination, she’s back into it and happy to build and play with IQ Builder.
So, what is it?
Essentially, it’s a box of plastic balls, sticks and wheels that allow you to create figures. This is done by clicking the pieces together. The set Cara received contained 164 pieces of various sizes and a booklet with some potential designs to construct. Although there are some examples, it’s only limited by your child’s imagination. Based on IQ Builder’s website, it’s supposed to help promote “development of critical thinking, reasoning and problem solving skills.” It is based on the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning system.
How did Cara get on?
After dusting off the container, Cara cracked it open again last week and started connected pieces together. The good thing is, they’re able to create anything they want, not just what’s in the booklet. Unlike Lego or IKEA, there’s no step-by-step instructions provided. This is where the problem solving skills come in, as you try to copy the photo to build a helicopter or house. Although slightly frustrating during the build process, it is satisfying once it’s built and seeing Cara merge the IQ Builder toy with her dolls, Playmobil and other random characters. Some of the designs Cara built based on the booklet included the spider, giraffe, house, car and helicopter. She created quite a few random designs, but one of her favourite is for some reason, the vacuum cleaner.
Once you’ve finished playing, it’s easy to tidy up and break down, which keeps us parents happy. A week and a half on, she’s still playing with it most nights after dinner for at least 30 minutes. It is a great way to spend quiet time with them.
Tips to help while playing:
- YouTube reduced speed: As there’s little guide in the standard booklet on how to construct some of these designs, YouTube reduced speed video is your friend. There are videos available on how to build them on the IQ Build channel. However, even then it’s shown at speed without instructions. So watching it in slow-mo definitely helped with the helicopter (and even then it was still not an exact copy).
- Let them be: I found myself being a bit too involved and took over on a couple of occasions. Yes, they will need some assistance, especially if they’re under 7 years. However, there were times where Cara reminded me that she wanted to ‘click’ the parts in.
- Tell a story: During the construction, or once they’ve finished, get them to tell a story. Even though it might be obvious that it’s a car or plane, ask them who it’s for or where it’s going? As Cara did, throw in some other characters or toys into the mix as part of the story.
Has your family played with IQ Builder? If so, how did you go? What did you build? Let us know in the comments below!