We love building toys, and most of the toys we have at home are those that you build with, such as Lego, building blocks, K'nex and Plus-plus. The boys enjoy constructing various things, and these are the toys that keep them occupied for a relatively long period of time, and satisfy their need to fiddle and tinker with stuff. It's always interesting to see how the kids use these to build all sorts of structures, from houses, to boats, to imaginary machines!
Recently, the folks over at Explorer Junior contacted us to see if we were keen to try out Miclik, another building toy. Thus far, most building toys we've used usually come with a variety of parts (think Lego and K'nex). However, Miclik only provides one kind of connector for building (similar to Plus-Plus), which means that children would have to be more creative in how they use the connectors during the construction process.
Each box of Miclik comes with 48 connectors in four different colours. The plastic connectors were very well made, with no sharp seams that can cut little hands.
Each box of connectors comes with a small instruction booklet, that has a few photos of things you could build, as well as some step-by-step instructions. However, there isn't much in the booklet, so it's really up to the kids to how they want to use these connectors!
While the connectors are the same, they hold a fair bit of construction potential. There are six holes at the back of each connector, so you can attach pieces and turn them at an angle. Because each connector can be bent in the middle, it means you can build 3D round structures, or parts that can fold. However, this also means that kids must figure out how to attach the connectors together such that they stay straight or bend, depending on what they want to build.
The connectors are large enough to be safe for the younger ones, since they are too big to be swallowed. Toddlers might find the pieces tricky to affix together, but Baby J enjoyed building with them, since he figured out a way to just stack the pieces without having to click the connectors together!
Initially, the boys were a little stuck when it came to playing with Miclik, and they only tried making swords following the pictures in the instruction booklet. Junior J could build his with ease, while Lil J found that his sword flopped as he didn't know how to alternate the pieces to ensure they did not bend.
However, after some fiddling, they decided to make a birthday cake. After the "cake" was made, they encountered some difficulty with attaching candles, which was solved by Baby J who just slotted the pieces on top! So they got busy with slotting pieces to making wobbly candles...
... and then Junior J decided he would make a "lighter", and proceeded to "light" the candles by transferring a yellow connector from his lighter to each candle. What followed was a lot of jostling to blow out the candles. :) It was really interesting, seeing how they worked together to figure everything out!
As a building toy, I think Miclik holds a fair bit of potential, but is more suitable for the older kids, as we found that the connectors sometimes don't hold very well and require some adjusting (especially when building structures that require the connectors to be bent). However, Miclik would also be a good toy in a family with mixed ages, since there are no small parts that can be a hazard to the little ones!
Thank you, Explorer Junior, for letting us try out Miclik! It really came at a great time, since the boys have been stuck home sick, and these have been keeping them busy.
For more information on Miclik, please hop over to the Explorer Junior website, and do like their FB page to be kept updated on promotions.
Explorer Junior is kindly giving away one set of Miclik each to two readers of this blog! Please follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below to enter in the giveaway. For more chances to win a set, you can also hop over to their FB page to take part in another contest here, with three sets to be won!
Disclaimer: We were sponsored Miclik sets for purpose of the review. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.