Our Dunk Tank experiment with GoldieBlox

Recommended Age:4-9
Company Site:www.goldieblox.com
Where to Buy:Toys R Us, Target and online
Notes:Compatible with all other GoldieBlox toys. 

Skills:Builds spatial skills, engineering principles (hinges and levers) and confidence in problem-solving.
What you get:Storybook, 1 animal figurine, 1 bouncy ball,
2 wheels, 9 short axles, 18 long axles, 12 blocks
10 spacers, 2 targets, 3 design templates
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post below are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Who doesn’t love building something or making a mess? We sure do! In fact I am pretty sure that is all my kids are into right now and only part of that is because of GoldieBlox Dunk Tank. You get to read a story, build something, throw a ball and get something wet when it falls…can we say every kids dream toy?

GoldieBlox and the Dunk Tank is the newest sensation in toys focused on teaching science, technology, engineering and math skills to young girls. It uses items and colors (including a pale pink) girls are familiar with and like but encourages them to create instead of imitate. THIS was why I love this toy so much. 2014-03-01 23.06.23 copy

Goldie has to wash her dog Nacho who hates being clean. She tries all the normal ways of washing him with no success so she thinks outside the box and stages a circus with Nacho as the star…of a dunk tank! Brilliant!

The set comes with the story booklet and all the pieces you need to create the Dunk Tank. There is a foldout with the instructions on how to do it and a couple extra ideas on things to build with the same set.

I love that it teaches kids engineering concept but it does so much more than that. Kids learn to build, to use their imagination, and think outside the box. It is marketed towards girls mostly because there are not enough (or any really?) toys that encourage girls to look towards engineering as a career. I agree with this idea except boys can play with it too.

We don’t really do the girl toys/boy toys thing in our house so when we got GoldBlox and the Dunk Tank my son was really excited to play it. In fact I am not sure who was more excited about playing with this, my daughter, my son or me!  2014-02-23 19.09.37 copy

At 5 years old my son was able to follow the instructions mostly on his own. The 3D drawing confused him a couple times but he built the Dunk Tank all on his own and was so proud of it too! He went on to build the Cheddar Chopper as well and his Iron Man and Captain America defeated an evil robot using it.

The pieces are made from plastic but a sturdy smooth plastic. They don’t seem to break easily but we didn’t try bending them or anything. A few rolled off our table but that was the worst that happened so I am not sure how they hold up if thrown in a fit. Coated bendy paper spiral circles do not tear easily if at all. Sorry that is the best description actually and its true…they don’t rip easily and feel very smooth.

Storage is always important and this game does a fantastic job of giving you a place for everything in its box…so you can put everything away…in its place. The OCD wannabe in me was VERY happy about that. Also if you put it all away properly…it doesn’t spill everywhere in the box when shaken or dropped!

My 3 year old Diva on the other hand needed help with the instructions. It is recommended for ages 4-9 but as long as your child doesn’t put things in their mouth and you help her she should be fine.

With help from Daddy she did a great job and only struggled a couple of times with putting her Dunk Tank together. The 3D diagram proved a bit difficult for her to grasp just yet but when she was given the pieces and showed on the “blueprint” how it was supposed to look she was able to put it together. I did have to adjust some of the pieces for her though as she wasn’t so great with alignment yet.

CAM13404 copyBoth kids LOVED seeing their creation work and after playing with it for a little bit and trying to dunk new toys they took it down and went to work building something else. Keep in mind I let them play with this separately. I wanted each to build it by themselves so they could focus and learn. Also, I didn’t want to hear fighting, screaming or tantrums that would have ensued if they had to “share” the first time through.

After they each built it by themselves (or with help in the Diva’s case) they were forced to share. My daughter is still understanding that she can build things with it so her creations are more like shapes. I try to show her different ways to put the pieces together so she can learn how to use the them. Eventually she will be able to build anything she wants on her own but for now we play together.

My Gentleman on the other hand has great ideas for what he wants to build but since we have never had toys like this before he is still learning what they can do. He loves building with it though and remakes the helicopter or plane but every time he does he changes something. He has built towers and cages for his toys and decided that Nacho needed a car to drive away from the bath. I cannot wait to see what ideas he comes up with next.2014-03-02 10.52.37-1 copy

If you are like me you have come to realize the sad truth about the girl toy aisles is that they are focused entirely too much on princesses, playing house, dolls and fashion. While there is nothing wrong with those things I don’t want my daughter to think that she can’t do anything else because its not in her aisle.

My Diva loves so many things but the toy options for girls are very limited. Sure she loves having a tea party with her princess babies or dancing around in her tutu, but she also loves building block or duplo towers, dressing up as Batman or a knight, playing with Play Doh and reading (she’s 3 so her version of reading).

Girls can be anything boys can be (and yes boys can be anything girls can be) including Engineers, Astronauts, and even President. There just aren’t a lot of toys that help encourage any of those other things. GoldBlox is out to change that and I cannot wait to see what my kids build next. Now we just need to get the other sets!



“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
~ Benjamin Franklin

Author: sandyz