Educational fun with the SmartMax Mega Ball Run

Sponsored post SmartMax learn while you playI can’t even tell you how many times I have refused or returned a self-contained pre-made ball run that has been given to my kids. It’s not that I’m against kids learning about gravity and momentum by way of a ball run, it’s just that I can’t justify the space that they require for the momentary fun of dropping a ball down a chute a few times before the kids get bored.SmartMax funBut, when I was told about the SmartMax Mega Ball Run, I realized that someone finally got it. By adding in the fun of a construction toy and the power of magnets, SmartMax allows you to build your own ball run over and over again to enhance the play value and keep the kids busy for hours.

SmartMax towerThe set includes 74 large, colorful pieces {magnetic balls, magnetic rods, tunnels, connectors, slides, and chutes} that are safe for ages 3 and up and a step-by-step building guide so you can start creating. The ends of the various size rods are magnetic, which you can either connect to other rods or you can use the magnetic balls as connectors to design with different angles and make more advanced structures. SmartMax MagnetsThe magnetic balls also play another important function by adding in the all-important movement action. Simply race any leftover magnetic balls down your ball run to the finish and watch the kids’ faces light up. SmartMax tunnelBut although it is fun to race over and over again, with SmartMax, the real fun comes from designing a ball run, playing with magnets, building your design, perfecting the details, and then learning what can be improved upon for the next design. That means that in addition to learning about gravity and momentum, your kids are also learning about magnetic polarity, improving hand-eye coordination, developing their critical reasoning, solving math and science problems, and designing in 3D – all before they even drop the first ball in. SmartMax Ball Tunnel 2But, no need to tell the kids all that. All they need to know is how much fun it is to play with the SmartMax Mega Ball Run. My kids had so much fun building with SmartMax that it quickly became a whole family activity and we all sat down together to play.  SmartMax building with daddyI watched my daughter step up as head engineer, helping my son think through design dilemmas logically and helping to create a connected tunnel that they could build together. And then I watched both of them laugh and delight with each magnetic connection during the building process. SmartMax EngineerMy son especially enjoyed connecting the tunnels and building up with magnets, working on his fine motor movements while constructing the ball run. When he ran into issues or had trouble making connections, my daughter would happily help him reason through what modifications they needed to make to their design. SmartMax construction truckWhen the building was done and they were ready to test their design by dropping the unused magnetic balls through the chute, the joy on their faces was simply priceless. I am absolutely certain that neither of them realized all the learning that they were doing, but that’s why I love SmartMax so much. These large, strong magnets allow you to build endless structures and get creative as a family while you get to watch your kiddos learn and have fun. SmartMax ball in runAll SmartMax building sets are compatible with each other, which means you can purchase multiple sets and add-ons to really customize your collection. This little guy is pretty well convinced we need more SmartMax pieces so he can really build to his heart's desire. He specifically would love more of the X-shaped connectors, which tend to go quickly when little ones are building due to the stability they lend to any design.SmartMax buildingWith how much fun we have had building together and exploring all the learning possibilities, I must say that I agree with him that more sets would be a wonderful thing. What could be better than a huge construction set we can all play with together that has so many learning possibilities built right in?

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