A-MAZE: manufactured in Canada by Q-BA-MAZE, Inc., Recommended age 5 +, retail
price range from $18.95 to $50.95. Prepare to be A-Mazed, Q-Ba-Mazed
that is. This new marble race/building system was invented by a former
New York City architect, Andrew Comfort. The building enthusiast was inspired
by fond memories of playing with a handmade marble race toy carved by his grandfather.
Andrew has gone
a step beyond the usual here with the Q-BA-MAZE design. The translucent, durable,
cubes come in sets of 20 and 50 pieces. You have a choice of warm colors (clear,
red, and orange) and cool colors (clear, green, and blue). The unique cubes have
three distinct designs, bottom exit, single side exit, and the double side exit.
feature is in the bottom of the double exit cube; the bottom is slightly recessed
so when the marble drops into this cube it will rock back and forth for a second,
then exit. Which side it exits from has determining factors. So if you really
wanted to you could try experimenting to see if your child or you could predict
the exit side, adding a little science fair flair; height, speed, stability, lean,
the possibilities are endless. If you prefer not to use the marbles that's okay
too; you can just create amazing
attaching the side exit cubes to other cubes via the exit lip on the side you
are able to create spirals and cantilevers
with ease. Find detailed, step by step, building
diagrams online on the Q-Ba-Maze website. Introduce the marbles at whatever
time you feel appropriate for your children. The steel balls are small and do
fit nicely into little noses. I would certainly heed manufacturer's age recommendation.
As always, playing
with your child is recommended, especially when introducing a new toy or concept,
or whenever small parts are involved. One thing that you might want to make note
of is that the count on the box includes the marbles, actually steel balls, so
the 50 count box actually has 36 cubes and 14 steel balls.
is fun for children and adults, even seasoned building enthusiasts will enjoy
it; we had a ball, no pun intended, all of us, not just the kids. We enjoyed the
open ended play, which stimulated the mind both creatively and critically.
This toy provided an opportunity for enhanced cognitive development as well as
promoting small motor skills: Hand-eye coordination
Fosters "whole brain" thinking
the Author: Mary Rose is a Mommy, a writer and an early childhood educator
who believes in learning through play and the value of good toys.