STEM Toys: Gravitrax Obstacle review

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Being confined to the house for almost two weeks has meant that we have really had a chance to put the Gravitrax Obstacle Starter set through its paces, and I think without it both Arlo and I would have really started to get on each others nerves. It’s given him plenty to do to keep himself busy, and to give him some precious screen free time too! Here’s more about Gravitrax and what we thought of it!

What is Gravitrax Obstacle Starter Set?

GraviTrax is an interactive marble run that lets you to design and build tracks for ball-bearings to whizz around. It’s a great STEM based activity and lets you experiment with gravity, magnetism and kinetics to explore create amazing tracks and encourages creativity. Inside the box you’ll find 140 components that fit together on a sturdy base to enable maximum creativity. As well as traditional shoots and tunnels there are bounce pads, switches, spirals and more.

Why do kids like Gravitrax?

It’s fun, and although it does test them in many ways (hand eye coordination, problem solving, following diagrams, predictions and so much more) it doesn’t feel like it’s educational. They can choose to follow the diagrams to make the different tracks in the instruction book, which are graded green/yellow/red in terms of difficulty or they can freestyle completely and experiment with making their own tracks.

Why do parents like Gravitrax?

Firstly, setting up the harder track layouts can take a while, so it’s a great way to fill an hour or so if you choose one of the hard ones! Once the track has been built playing with it will This set has the option to start three balls off at once round the tracks, so there is also a competitive element to see which ball will get there first. so you can ask “which ball will get there first?” and “why do you think that?”.  If there is a problem on the track and a ball comes off at the same place, or doesn’t go where it needs to you can get problem solving. It might something as simple as a part not being clicked into place so it’s no longer level, or it might be something else entirely but the fun is in the finding out.

What else can you do with Gravitrax

As I’ve mentioned before you can go completely off book and create anything you like, and there are lots of extension options available so you can take your tracks to the next level. You can introduce Gravitrax PRO as the two tracks are completely interchangeable.

Could anything be improved?

Although the set is mostly made from plastic, which I knew I felt that this was fine as it is far from ‘one use’ and with care can be played with for years, if not decades. However inside the cardboard box all the different components came packaged in one use plastic bags to keep them separate. Most of these once opened couldn’t be resealed, so you end up with a box of parts mixed together.  I think some sort of cardboard insert to display/keep all the pieces in groups would be great/

Where to buy Gravitrax

You can buy Gravitrax in toy shops, and online at John Lewis, Smyths and on Amazon, via the links below*

 

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