This week we were lucky to receive a Studio set of Roominate™ in the mail to review. If you are unfamiliar with this product, it is a new S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) toy targeted specifically at girls over six. You can read more about the inspiring ladies who created it and the reasons behind making it a ‘girls’ toy here.
* Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary set of this product for review purposes, but I was not paid to write this and all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links – thank you for your support.
In our home we have toy boxes well-stocked with the typical ‘girl stuff’ such as plastic ponies, fashion dolls and princess costumes. My kids have seen them in catalogues and requested them for birthday and Christmas presents and have spent many happy hours absorbed in play with these toys. For the record, we have also provided them with toy cars, train sets, generic construction toys and super-hero outfits. They’ve played with those too, but always seem to drift back to the more girly options so I welcome something that’s a bit different for their gender and age group. Something that challenges them to think, build and create while satisfying their natural interests.
Roominate™ is a combination of plastic construction pieces, simple electronic circuitry and some additional craft elements (coloured paper and pictures) to cut and stick on the walls. Miss R immediately took charge of the circuit to make a fan. She was very pleased with herself when she put it together with no help from me (apart from putting the batteries in for her).
Once she had the middle piece whizzing around she added some more plastic pieces to make it into a larger fan. She realised that moving the plastic pieces around into different shapes made the spinning piece in the middle take a different shape while in motion – cool!
In the meantime, Miss K designed her own play set-up with the rest of the pieces. She loved the little figurines that came with the set and straight away made a car for them. I helped her put the walls together for the ‘house’ and she did all the rest.
Overall this toy has been a big hit with my kids! They figured things out mostly by themselves and were very happy with what they made. Because they love it, I will probably buy them some more to add to their collection at Christmas time.
There are lots of pros to buying a set of Roominate™, here are a few to get you started:
• encourages creative thinking
• develops problem-solving and fine motor skills
• builds confidence
• teaches about basic circuitry with simple electronics
• encourages girls to build, construct and play
The only ‘con’ that I can think of is that the number of pieces in this set is bit restrictive and a larger set with more pieces would make it much easier to design and create with, but this point is equally true for Lego or any other construction toy – the more or larger sets you have the more you can make and the more creative you can be. Luckily there are lots of other options such as the Chateau, the townhouse, the amusement park and you can also get a separate circuits accessory pack.
In Australia, the stockists for Roominate are Toys R Us, Toy World and independent stores.
You can also order it from Amazon in the US.
More science activities for kids:
• make some beautiful and very easy borax crystal ornaments
• oil and water discovery bottles are fascinating and simple to make
• make your own bubbling brew for pretend play
• my daughter loved creating these sparkly wax gems
There are also tons of very cool S.T.E.M activities to be found for both girls AND boys on our Science Fun For Kids board on Pinterest. Are you following us?