337247c300c40a4a5e07b8b23482b05bThis newest Arckit set, the architectural model building design tool, contains 175+ colored and clear pieces to design modern and traditional spaces. The addition of colored pieces makes the kits more kid attractive as younger budding architects can envision their structures. Based on a 1.2 M/ 4 ft grid to scale, young designers should be 10 years and up, in this next step from legos for older kids. My young friends got right to work pressing the pegged  pieces–walls, windows, roof trusses and stairs to build their house and office space. It was fun to watch their creative minds work as they discovered mitered corners, and used clear pieces for windows and railing to guide people through different spaces. One friend declared, “This is a really good designer kit for making models,” after he finished his lake house. The Arckit set inspired creative spacial design as well as tapped language skills as kids described the function that drove their design and the other way around. “The green stuff I call the ‘over plating.’ This will be a garden because it’s right out the door to make it easy to work in it. It’s also close so they can see it and enjoy it.” As he rotated his model he said, “It would be cool to have this as a lake house facing like this, for the views.” “The round part reminds me of a boat.” Verbal discussion and collaboration in design occurred as family members were shown his model.  Mom came in the room to admire her son’s model and suggested an outdoor shower which he built and explained to me. Kids seemed to enjoy following the directions included in the kit (more are available online), learning how to manipulate the pieces (“You have to roof from top to bottom!”) before they were confident to create something unique. One boy immediately associated this Arckit with the new Maker Space Ideation Studio initiated in his school this year. He is excited to share his kit with other students!

Available at Mindware. Click here