Product sent in return for an honest review
Connetix Magnetic tiles are a firm favourite in our house. Both boys ( 9 and 4 years) loving constructing various projects and will happily build things together. They were recently given the chance to try out something a bit more intricate from Connetix, the 92 piece Ball Run Pack.
The ball run set contains 4 balls, a range of different shaped transparent plastic tubing and brightly coloured magnetic tiles with circular holes in the middle. There are 92 pieces in total in the pack including bend pieces and a split tube so you can race two balls at the same time.
Like other Connetix products, the Ball Run pack is suitable for children aged 3 and upwards. However, my 4 year old found the tubes too difficult to fit to the tiles. They have to be pushed in gently but firmly and he wasn’t really able to do this without adult help so lost interest quickly during the building stages. He did enjoy letting the balls go down the tubes once his brother had finished constructing a ball run through.
My 9 year old really enjoyed building a range of different ball runs but he did say he found it quite easy for his constructions to collapse as he found the higher he built, the weaker the plastic tubes made the magnetic tiles.
I think the ball run set is most suited to 7 years and upwards, or younger children who are particularly patient and gentle. Younger children would likely need more adult support to help connect the pieces securely like my 4 year old did.
The plastic tubing has to be clicked into the magnetic tiles to ensure the run is smooth and sturdy. This does take a decent push but you might need to remind children to take them apart gently as I think it would be relatively easy to snap the lips of the tubing off when pulling it apart.
The magnetic tiles in the Ball Run pack all have circular holes for the plastic tubes to be fitted through. The tiles from the Ball Run set work exactly the same was as other Connetix tiles and can be used with any other shaped tiles you have but the plastic tubing will only connect properly to the tiles that come with the Ball Run pack.
Most of my 9 year olds constructions required further tiles so although the tubes don’t fit into other tiles as they do the ones form the Ball Run, the other tiles can be used to strengthen your buildings or add height or width between the tube floors.
Connetix tiles are made using non-toxic ABS plastic that is BPA and Phthalate free, sealed and riveted for extra safety. I feel much more confident allowing my 4 year old to use Connetix products that I would cheaper, similar products from other brands.
The balls that come with the pack run down the ball run nicely but my two boys enjoyed trailing out other objects to see if they rolled down the tubes easily too.
The clear tubes can also be used to create a tunnel so the ball is sealed inside rather than running down an open topped tube.
My 9 year old found that sometimes that balls didn’t have enough momentum to make it all the way down the tubes to the bottom so it was a great excuse to talk about gravity and physics.
The Ball Run is well made and each of the tiles and tubes are strong and sturdy which look like they’re built to last. The set allows kids to create their own unique designs while encouraging cognitive development and motor skills.
Although the ball run pack can be used as a stand along set, Connetix sets are all compatible with each other so we have been able to add it to the 50 piece Rainbow Transport pack and 40 piece expansion pack that we already own which has allowed bigger, fancier ball run creations.
You can check out the rest of the Connetix range here.