Lego Chain Reactions Review: Science & Fun in One Toy

Editor's rating:
9.0
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Reviewed by Bobby Brower
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We like

  • Klutz manual details learning, instructions, and science
  • A fun way for parents and children to learn and play together
  • Can be used with your own Lego bricks or other comparable items found around the house
  • Allows children to learn and play at the same time
  • The manual not only teaches, but helps children develop their cognitive reading comprehension skills
  • Easy to use and the creativity level is limitless
We don’t like
  • Smaller parts may pose a choking hazard
  • Some parts are made from paper and can be very fragile

How it works

The Lego Chain Reactions is the Lego brand toy on a completely new level. Lego Chain Reactions takes your Legos and gives them the power to move and create chain reactions that will inspire you and wow you as you use the included manual to create one or all of the ten machines that can be created from this kit. The kit comes with all the essentials you will need to put your Legos to work as you create machines that can toss items into a trash bin, chase household pets, and entertain your friends and family. The machines can roll, swing, drop, lift items, and turn to create fun activities and games for all who use the toy.

The Kit

The Kit

The Lego Chain Reactions Kit comes with everything you will need to build the ten machines that are comprised of all the parts that come in the box. With the box you will receive 33 Lego pieces, one platform, one paper ramp, one paper flag, one paper bucket, two paper signs, eight ramps, six feet of string, six Lego balls, and a 78-page book detailing how to use all the parts and build all the machines. With all of these elements, your Lego pieces quickly become moving parts that can travel around your house.
Klutz

Klutz

The Lego Chain Reactions is part of the Klutz brand of book activities. Klutz uses manuals to help children learn how to follow instructions in order to create an activity or a craft. Klutz uses wording and phrasing in their books that are so clear and easy to read that anyone can follow the instructions without frustration or missing an important step. The Klutz brand of book instructions is a great way for children to learn to not only follow directions but to follow directions to success, which will enable them to read any kind of instructions and see them through to the end, complicated or not. In a time where online ordering requires buyers to be instruction reading savvy, the Klutz books make it a great way for kids to learn.
Education Value

Education Value

Lego Chain Reactions has many different levels of educational value. On the surface, the Lego Chain Reactions helps develop a child’s creativity by giving them the opportunity to use their imaginations when creating the ten machines that are able to be built using the Lego Chain Reactions Kit. The toy also gives children the opportunity to work on their reading comprehension skills when reading and following the directions in the Klutz manual.

Children will have to use their critical thinking to put words into actions as they build the machines from scratch. Children can also work on creating several activities for the machines to do after they are built. Whether the machine rolls or tosses paper or swings or carries lightweight items, children will get to create and design the task that the machine will have to complete. All creative areas of the child’s brain will get worked out in the time they take to build their creations.
The Machines

The Machines

The Lego Chain Reactions kit comes equipped with all the parts needed to build the ten different machines that have been designed for this kit. The ten machines children are able to build are broken up into three categories: easy, medium, and advanced. Children will be able to reach these levels depending on how far they have advanced in the manual.

The manuals take children through the steps to read instructions and understand instructions in such a clear way that they will continue to advance further and further into the book and take on the task of building more difficult machines.

The machines kids are able to build are broken up a follows:

Level Easy

• Quintopple
• Dominoes
• Seesaw and Ramp
• Slow Spin

Level Medium

• Pop-up Flag and Falling Hammer
• Board Bouncer
• Pulley and Bucket
• Funnel Ramp

Advanced Level

• Elevator Ramp
• Zigzag Ramp

Most of the names are self-explanatory as to how they work while others are named after the unique capabilities that the machine offers. Once you and your child have read through the entire book have created all the machines, you can go back and recreate your favorites over and over again.
Award Winning Toy

Award Winning Toy

The Lego Chain Reactions building kit is the recipient of a NAAPA silver award. Awards of this kind are given to toys and products that serve a great purpose for parents and children in the realm of education. The Lego Chain Reactions toy kit has been deemed creative enough and good enough to help children develop a better brain through tactile activities and learning. The NAAPA seal of approval makes this toy a good choice for parents who want their children to gain as much as they can from playtime.
Design

Design

The Lego Chain Reactions is better understood and used by children eight years of age and older. Although some parents have found that children as young as seven-years-old had the understandability and dexterity to use the Lego Chain Reactions it is best used by children eight-years-old and older. Although the kit comes with 33 Lego pieces, you can use more pieces than that. If you already have a large selection of Lego bricks, they can be added to the kit and used to build the machines and create better tracks and activities for the machines to use and do. There are no limitations to what the Lego bricks can do.

The other parts of the kit are fragile since they are all made out of paper especially the ramps and the bucket. The Lego Chain Reactions is best used if there are no heavy items placed on to the ramps or the more fragile parts as they can be damaged or broken. The toy is best used as a skill sharpening game of building and creating simple tasks and activities. Anything more advanced may require more durable materials and a different type or brand of game that comes with metal or heavy plastic parts that can take on heavier materials and be built to withstand harder tasks that require more advanced skills.
Safety

Safety

Because of the small parts and fragility of some of the materials, children under eight-years-old should not use the Lego Chain Reactions especially unsupervised. The Lego bricks and the Lego ball pose a choking hazard to younger children. The paper materials needed to properly create the ramps and mazes needed have to be handled properly or risk ripping, denting, and damage.

Younger children are more likely to rip and tear at these materials than older children. Younger children also need to have achieved a certain level of reading comprehension to read and understand the manual with the directions. A 78-page manual is a great tool for children to sit alone or with parents and read through and figure out how to put the machines together. Younger children would not have the attention span required to sit, learn, and build the machines.
Development

Development

The Lego Chain Reactions building toy was tested and developed by educators and children working together to create a toy that was both educational and entertaining. Educators in the field of science, especially physics, teamed up with a group of 11-year-olds to build machines that would be easy to create, yet complicated enough to take on the tasks of movement and pivoting. With what the team came up with, the Klutz manual highlights when describing the education behind the toy. The manual comes with helpful hints on how to overcome obstacles that may arise while building the machines. It also comes with ways to restack bricks and reconnect certain elements of the machines for them function properly.

The manual also does one other thing, which is indicative of Klutz manuals in that it explains the science behind how the machines work and why certain activities and tasks also work. There is a physics lesson in every step, and the Klutz manual ensures that while every child learns how to build and create advanced machines they are also understanding the hows and whys behind the mechanisms and science that help create these inventions. This type of learning makes the Lego Chain Reactions pop out and separate themselves from other toys that seem to just occupy a child’s time.

The Lego Chain Reactions educates children as well and it also allows children to work with parents in the creation of the machines. Parent supervision is always recommended for these types of toys, and parents can get involved helping younger children read through and understand the manual as well as read through and understand the lessons being taught in the manual while the parent also learns.
Chain Reactions

Chain Reactions

Multiple machines can be built simultaneously and connected together to create a link of chain reactions. By using your classic Lego bricks and the items included in the kit, a child can create one machine and be fascinated by its movements and capabilities, and those same machines can be connected to other machines from the manual to create even bigger chain reactions. Together, machines can launch lightweight items such as balls of paper through the air. Other combinations of machines can move forward and carry notes into other rooms.

Some have put machines together that can follow the family pet entertaining not only the humans of the family but other family members as well. By using the ramps, string, and Lego ball, kids can launch the ball into a basket, or have it roll down several ramps into the bucket. As long as there is imagination and any number of Lego classic building bricks, kids and adults can create several fun activities that can last for hours.
Price

Price

The Lego Chain Reaction can be purchased at an affordable price. For the level of education and interaction that a child gets from this toy, the market is more than reasonable. A lot of games and toys that are at this level of skill and learning can be more expensive. What’s more, is that you can expand on the level of skill of this game with items found around the house, or by using more Lego blocks that you may already own.

There is no need to buy additional parts or search far and wide for additional items that can be added to the game. For free, you can find these items around the home or anyone’s home allowing children’s imaginations to think bigger and better with what is already around them. The Klutz manual with its detailed, clear instructions and scientific explanations is a priceless addition. It’s almost as if a textbook comes with the game that kids can keep for future reference and learning.
Conclusion

Conclusion

For what it costs, the Lego Chain Reactions is a great learning toy for children in elementary and middle school. The manual is so easy to follow and understand, and while children are building the machines they are also learning the science behind what makes the machines work and what skills the children are using to build.

The creativity level of the Lego Chain Reactions has no limit, and children and adults can spend hours together building new tracks and tricks for the machines to perform. Children’s creativity is being built on several levels while they learn. The Lego Chain Reactions is more than just a toy that can be used to distract or occupy a child’s time, it also teaches and helps make difficult subjects like science and math fun.
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