Between the Super Bowl commercials and advertising campaigns that have gone viral, Goldieblox has been making quite a splash. I was always a bit, ok a lot, of a tomboy, so these definitely caught my eye. If you don’t know what Goldieblox kits are here is some information from their website.
“At GoldieBlox, our goal is to get girls building. We’re here to help level the playing field in every sense of the phrase. By tapping into girls’ strong verbal skills, our story + construction set bolsters confidence in spatial skills while giving young inventors the tools they need to build and create amazing things.”
The more I read about these kits the more I liked them. While they were created for the purpose of getting girls interested in engineering, I saw something that could be used to help get my kids engaged in speech! Where other people saw building a machine, I saw opportunities for practical categorizing, sequencing, following directions, etc. I had to have them! So with the help of some grant money, I was able to get their ENTIRE set of kits and accessories!! For all that you get, I didn’t think the price was bad either. That could also be because I was using grant money to get them all, instead of paying out of pocket. I will say though, that the sets individually are pretty reasonably priced.
Here are the kits. Each one has a different type of engineering concept being targeted. I loved how each kit had some story ( some longer than others ) in it to give some background knowledge and reason for the machine to be built. Much for fun than, “ Here is a picture, make it.” It also meant that we could work on our comprehension skills. In the back of the stories, it also has other suggestions for more machines or variations to build using that kit’s materials. I loved this! It means I can use it over and over and have it be something new each time. It has definitely kept my kids on their toes. Some stories also have parts where the kids are asked to follow along and complete the task that is being done the story. Built in comprehension and following directions, yes please! I would have loved to have some type of glossary in the back of the stories or on a separate card so when my kids asked me what something was or what it did I could have explained it better, but we used our inferencing and context clue skills to figure it out just fine.
Now what have I been targeting with these kits? EVERYTHING! They are fabulous reinforcement activities for articulation and fluency. I have also been able to target just about every language goal I have. Here are some examples of things we have done:
- Read the story and answered WH questions
- Categorized the machine parts by size, shape, use, and color
- Addressed story elements: characters, setting, plot
- Described each part
- Described the machine
- Following Directions
- Taking turns
- Synonyms for describing and action words
- Antonyms for describing and action words
- Conversation while maintaining a topic
- Problem solving
- Cause and effect
- Context clues
- Associations: stated tools and other materials that you may need to go with building the machines
- Predicting: what may happen if we didn’t follow the plan in the directions, etc.
- Addressed concepts such as many, few, next to, between, around, over, under, etc.
- Learned new vocabulary
My kids come in and ask for these activities constantly now and not just the girls. I don’t even think my boys know that it is marketed towards girls. The age range on the activities, between 4-9, I would say is pretty spot on, but I have some fourth graders who are wanting to get in the Goldieblox action too. Now, some of you may be looking at the above picture and thinking, ” That is way to complicated for my kids.” Well, for some of you it may be true, but I say I have student of varying abilities and all of them were able to do the activities. The only difference between them was the amount of support I needed to provide.
I am totally obsessed with using these right now! They are different and engaging. Not only are my kids having a blast, but so am I! I found it easy to adapt the activities for my kids with fine motor issues too. When they had difficulty building, I had them explain to me what they were supposed to do and I would perform the task. Overall, I am soooo happy I put in for the grant for these. Anything that is engaging, interactive, adaptable, encourages real-life application of skills, and is super fun gets a big old gold star in my book. So, I gave Goldieblox 2!
Have you used Goldieblox in speech?
This looks awesome! I love open-ended toys like this one. It gives you lots of opportunities to target skills in a very functional way. I would definitely look for this in my next toy store visit. Hoping it’s available here in the Philippines! *fingers crossed*
if you had to recommend just one kit, which would you get?
I think the Spinning Machine. I think it would be the most flexible for all levels.
How did you use these in a group. Did one build or is it a group project where each one did a step?
Everyone got a chance to build 🙂 We took turns explaining what needed to be done and then building a portion.
Thank you for the great idea–the Spinning kit is in my Amazon cart! I have a new student starting on my caseload this week with selective mutism. I’m sure this activity will be helpful!–Daria