K’NEX MIGHTY MAKERS

K'nex Mighty Makers

A couple of years ago I handed Big Sis a pile of Lego miniatures; when I turned back a few minutes later she’d put them all together, completely on her own. That was the moment I knew she was destined to be a world-class architect and engineer, earning enough money to keep her parents in obscene luxury for the rest of their lives. Yay. 

Big Sis has always loved putting things together – from jigsaw puzzles, to building blocks – so it was a given that she’d love the K’NEX sets we were recently sent (thanks Holly!). But these weren’t just any bog-standard construction kits, these were Mighty Makers.

For decades now our girls and young women have been told in subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways that there are jobs they can’t do simply because they’re female. Despite being absolute poppycock, this everyday sexism has resulted in a massive gender disparity in the STEM fields, which you’ll already know stands for science, technology, engineering and maths (no, I didn’t know that either…).

Mighty Makers inspire and empower girls to use those STEM principals to make their own fabulous creations from houses and planes, to ferris wheels with moving parts. The new sets contain all the same components as the original versions, but come in colours and models specially designed to straddle that gender gap in a way that will appeal to girls, but not pigeon hole them. Yes, there’s pink in there but there’s also grey, blue, yellow and red.

Each set has a theme – Big Sis tried the Home Designer and the Going Green sets – and includes instructions for three completely different builds. Or kids can go ‘off plan’ and create their own invention; the only limit is their imagination. It’s a big step up from the building blocks she’s used before (the recommended age is 7+) but I loved seeing her stretch her abilities with a harder challenge, and the sense of achievement she got as she figured out each element of the build.

Not only is she learning about geometry, and physics and kinetic energy (see I did pay attention in science class) but she’s having fun too. And – perhaps most importantly – she’s gaining confidence in her own abilities, confidence that will open wider doors for her when she does eventually decide her career path.

Because, whether that be full-time mother or statistical mathematician, it should always be a choice she’s made, not one that’s been made for her.

• we were sent our Mighty Makers sets for the purpose of review

• I’ve linked up to Brilliant Blog Posts

45 Comments

  1. KNex is fantastic stuff, I am sure it will feature on a lot of Christmas lists! Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested

  2. My little dude is obsessed with all things construction – however we’ve not had any Knex yet! Maybe something to add to the Christmas list.
    Thanks for sharing your review on #TriedTested this week x

  3. Looks like a fantastic set to keep children busy, my nieces would love this!

  4. What a great sounding set, I remember enjoying KNex as a child. x

    • It’s lovely to have toys that have stood the test of time and haven’t been overtaken by iPads! Plus, there’s just something really nice about your children playing with the same toys you did, isn’t there? x

  5. Go girl! Like you I don’t believe there’s a job you can’t do just because you’re female – how outrageous and very old fashioned. With the support of her family she can do anything she wants, let’s hope it’s something that can keep you in that life of luxury 😉

    • Hahaha! Let’s hope indeed Stephanie! If not an engineer, I’d be quite happy with world-famous architect, or maybe luxury property developer… 😉 x

  6. I absolutely love KNex and Lego.. Favourite childhood pastimes 🙂

  7. Oh wow, what an amazing set! Is it wrong I want to by this for myself?

  8. K’Nex is awesome stuff but seriously, does it have to be a specific “gender” colour? Who decided it was blue for boys and pink for girls? I’m afraid by producing a specific gender set I would avoid buying this product at all. Great review but not for me.

    • Hey Tori, I understand your point – colour pigeonholing is a bugbear of mine too – but unfortunately our children have been subjected to the stereotypes for so long now that there has to be some kind of middle ground first.

      The manufacturers had to make the sets in a way that would appeal to those girls who’ve only ever heard the message ‘pink is for girls, blue is for boys’ – something that would allow them undo all that outdated conditioning first. You’ll see from the photo that the majority of the colours in the set are blue, yellow, grey, and purple. Granted, it’s not perfect yet, but it’s a huge step in the right direction!

      Thanks for commenting. x

  9. This is such fun, I love when children can use their imagination to make things x

  10. I’ve always made sure my kids have construction toys in the house, even when we just had the girls. I would get surprised looks off friends because they were getting Lego for Christmas not the brand new all singing all dancing (well, eating and peeing) baby doll. Don’t get me wrong they had dolls to but I saw lego and k’nex as important toys to have and they all loved them. I’m hoping to get at least one world class engineer 😉

    • Aww, I love that Katie! When I was growing up with had a toy garage full of Matchbox cars, Lego, a train set AND a bunch of Barbie dolls. We played with whatever we felt like on the day – not what we were told we should play with!! x

  11. How fun does the mighty maker look? I would love one for myself because at the end of the day we are all kids at heart!

  12. This is something I need to get my daughter. She loves building, but I hate Lego, so she always has to put it away afterwards, but these are a much better option. Thanks for sharing.

    • I must admit Renna, the cleaning up afterwards is the worst part… still easier than Play-Doh though!! 😉 x

  13. These are fantastic! I loved Knex and had so much Meccano as a little girl, before suddenly being told that girls shouldn’t play with those sorts of things! I hope your little girl grows up telling those sorts of people that they are wrong and proving how great girls can be at STEM topics!

    • Oh, Meccano – I’d forgotten about that! I grew up in the 70’s (showing my age!!!!) and we had Meccano and Tonka and Lego… I loved them all! x

  14. This looks fab! Something i am sure my daughter will be interested in when she is a little older!

  15. KNex!!!! I love some of their products and the idea of taking apart and putting something together. I approve of such toys, think many children are missing this sort of thing in their life.

    • There’s something really satisfying about successfully building something, isn’t there?! I must admit – I had a little bit of a play with it once the girls had gone to bed… 😉 x

  16. I used to love playing with this as a child. They definitely keep kids occupied for a few hours xx

    • Isn’t it lovely when your own children can play with something you remember from your own childhood? x

  17. Sounds like a fantastic toy for kids, definitely one that will keep them busy.

  18. Love these – we haven’t ever tried knex but I think it would make a great alternative to lego x

  19. This looks like a fantastic set to keep the kids occupied

  20. We have had a small set of these and they were wonderful! I can imagine the fun if you have a boxful 🙂

    • They’re brilliant, aren’t they? And don’t forget Xmas is coming… 😉 x

  21. Oh this looks great – I don’t think any of my older three had any KNex – but I will look out for it for Pickle. Kaz x

  22. I love the sound of this toy, and it’s definitely something I would give my girls.

    • Looks like fun, doesn’t it? I must confess, I might have had a little play with them too… 😉 x

  23. This looks awesome, need to get some for Isabelle, not sure if suitable for Olivia what do you think?

    • Perfect for Isabelle, but too hard for Olivia at the moment – I reckon a minimum age of seven. xx

  24. I’ve never heard of knex before, this looks like a lot of fun! I’ll have to buy it for my daughter when she’s old enough.

  25. Dont know what knex is, but it sounds really interesting and you son is having an amazing fan! Must be great then!

  26. you daughter! sorry I have no clue why I wrote son!

    • Haha! Are you saying my daughter looks like a boy?? *glares* Only joking! Funnily, she always says she wants to be a boy so she can cut all her hair off, because she hates having her hair brushed!! x

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