Christmas toys these days feature lots of electronics, gadgets, gizmos, flashing lights and sounds. Whilst they are great (well a lot of them anyway), getting kids away from electronic devices and reducing screen time is good idea. So going back to good old-fashioned toys and games will give a them break from screens and introduce them to new toys and even help them learn new skills.
FabriKid is a construction toy for children aged eight years and upwards that will definitely get them off their screens and learning new skills. A word of warning though, the packing and descriptions of this product describe it as wood-like. The planks and logs to cut are actually made of a hard foam or plastic synthetic material, which as far as I found wasn’t mentioned on the packaging or in the manual. That said, although my misconception was that I would be working with wood it was still great fun building the models.
In the box:
- Thin Planks (x3 measuring 40×14.5×0.6cm)
- Thick Planks (x3 measuring 40×14.5×1.9cm)
- Small Logs (x4 measuring 40×01.9cm)
- Large logs (x3 measuring 40×03.8cm)
- Screws (x99 in 3 different sizes)
- Nails (x29 in 3 different sizes)
- Saw (30cm),
- Screwdriver (14.5cm)
- Hammer (22cm)
A cardboard ruler is supplied on the packaging that has to be carefully cut out, which to be honest, unless you can cut it in a true line it will not help you cut in a straight line, so we recommend using a standard ruler or tape measure.
The planks and logs are made from recyclable materials and can be easily recycled by placing left over pieces in your plastic recycling box or bin (note: check exactly what your council recycles as they are all different in what materials the accept in their bins).
The FabriKid Construction Kit has instructions (blueprints) to make six different models. There are enough pieces in the kit to make two of these models from three combinations.
- Combination 1: Sabre and Chest
- Combination 2: Car and Sword
- Combination 3: Plane and Hut
The FabriKid Construction Kit is a good kit to introduce children to becoming an apprentice handyperson in a safe way. This kit will introduce them to using tools like a hammer, screwdriver, saw, screws, nails and wood-like materials with planks and logs. It is a good way for them to familiarise themselves with tools and materials so that they can work their way up to using real tools and wood. A good way to learn to become a DIYer or a repair/fixer person.
This kit is able to build two models using three different combinations. For the purpose of this review, with the help of the kids, we decided to build Combination 3: Plane and Hut as it looked the most interesting, not only looks wise but building wise.
The detailed pictorial instructions are quite clear in showing you what tools are required, what measurements to use and even where to cut on the planks to get the most out of the materials. The foam planks and logs are easy to cut using the saw, the nails and screws go in easily and the models are easy to cut out and assembly if you follow the instructions to the letter. You can, should you wish, ignore the blueprints and design your own.
According to the packaging there are more blueprints for different projects available on the Lansay website (the website is in French with no English translation), unfortunately I could not find them.
We managed to build our two models relatively easily, adult guidance will be need depending on the age of the children and their ability and knowledge of working with resistant materials. They took a couple of hours to complete but was a good, worthwhile experience and the sense of achievement from the kids was brilliant to see.
The FabriKid Construction Kit is a good introduction to following blueprints, working with tools and materials and how to measure, cut to size and assemble projects. The tools are plastic and the planks are like a hard foam/plastic material but they are perfect for getting the kids used to real tools and materials in a much safer fashion and have an output that they can be proud of.
It could do with a better ruler included in the kit, just one that doesn’t need cutting out from the box, but overall we have really enjoyed using the FabriKid kit.
The FabriKid Construction Kit would make a good gift this Christmas for the hands-on, DIYer or model building child. And it has the added bonus of that it is something that you and your child can do together.