Award of Excellence Winner
Overall 9
Play Value 9
Cost Value 9
Design 9
Quality 10
Parent Appeal 9
Educational Value 9
Safety 10

KEVA Brain Builders

In Stores
Age:8+
MSRP:$17.99 ca
$15.95 us
Editor's Review

Our testers loved building achitectural-like challenges. Parents love that the activity hones both both brain and finger muscles, as well as patience. Our testers soon found that the stuctures require careful placement or the hwole structure might collaspe - which was frustrating for sure. The focus of this set is the cognitive challenge of interpreting the pictoral diagrams so that you can build the model - each card shows three views: front, side and top diagramatic drawings of the structure. There's also the fun of trying to guess what you're building as the block structure starts to take shape. In some cases, you can visualize the final creation just by looking at the diagrams even before you start building. But you'll still want to do the build as working with these miniture pine planks helps hone fine motor skills. Unlike other construction sets, these pieces don't snap together or fit into special slots. Patience and careful fine motor control are important because building...

Tester Reviews

KIDS:

It's cool that you can make so many different structures. I like how it shows you how it looks from all different directions. It's fun to try and guess what it is I'm building. When you're done making the structure it looks really nice. The level was good. The puzzles were a bit hard but not too hard. You have to have non-shaky hands when you are building or the whole tower might fall down. Kyle (M8)

It's fun to build things, you get different views of the structure so you have to make it into a 3d structure, I have never played a game like that.It is super simple when ypu think of it, it's just little pieces of wood, but it's really deep and complicated. When I look at the plans, it seems easy at first to creat the structure. There is always one view that either makes it easy to figure out what I am building, or it makes me scratch my head. So this is an easy/hard game. It's easy to make a structure like a picnic table, I know what it looks like in my head, but the abstract structures, those were more of a challenge. Sebastien (M13)

It looks really cool when you've finished building them and it's fun when you get it right and you can then show it to everyone. But it is a bit frustrating because sometimes you have to build it up in parts and then the whole thing falls and you have to start again.  Zachary (M11)

This game is very frustrating because the pieces fall easily, but it's very creative trying to build all the different structures. Shalom (M10)

The colours on the picture means something I don't understand, it's fun to make a structure and try to guess what it is from the picture but it is super hard to do. Kaï (M11)

ADULTS:

I am an engineer and I like that this brain builder is a way for the kids to learn to read plans, a 2d representation of a 3d structure. Daniel Hache

KEVA Brain Builders are one of the best educational toys we've tested. It's fun for kids to turn 2D structures into a final 3D structure. It's pretty satisfying to guess what the final structure is before revealing the final picture at the back of the card. Great for little engineers and architects in training. Scott Bruce

Truly one of the best toys we've tested this year. It teaches engineering design drawings in a fun and exciting way with smart little plans giving kids 2D perspective views to build 3D objects to guess. It's fun for our son (8) to try and guess what he's building and he has to work carefully to make sure that what he is building matches all images. The pieces are well made to create a well balanced final structure. It would be great if a few spare pieces were provided just in case any were lost. The more complicated structures needed every piece provided. This is a great toy and one we would consider getting as a present for our son's friends. This is fun for adults as well as kids to do. Allison Munro

This 'brain game' is fantastic for kids who like to challenge themselves. The cards give different views of the structure and then you have to build it in 3D. The boys (11, 10) enjoyed going through the cards and challenging themselves with building the different structures. They found it hard to build some of them and they were getting frustrated since the pieces kept falling, but they were very happy to show off the final product. They've built benches, lemonade stands, tables, houses, etc. They did lose a bit of interest over time, but occasionally take it out again to try to build the next challenge. Incredibly educational and perfect for the budding builder! The case is great- it makes it easy to pack up and store. Rebecca Young

The cards present a building challenge on one side, and then kids are to build and guess what structure they've built. My tester (8) found it to be very challenging. The building clues were sometimes not quite enough for him to figure out how to build the structure. Nonetheless, he enjoyed trying and challenging himself. This toy is a simple, but good quality toy. The case is very handy for storage and minimized packaging. I was a little skeptical because of how small and how few pieces there are, but there was actually a large variety of challenges for my little tester. Mike Roy

Great little portable puzzle kit! Fantastic spatial reasoning activities that pack nicely into a portable case. Kids have to build a figure from simple pictures, and then once built guess what the actual 3d shape represents. Our kids (M7, M8) loved this concept. It was a little too hard for my 7-yold, but my 8-yold loves it. There are a number of different cards/puzzles to figure out which they enjoyed. The plain wood means it might get overlooked in favour of licensed or more colourful building toys, but this kit is challenging and interesting for our budding engineer. Tara Roy-DiClemente

Manufacturer's Description

Build Using Perspectives. Approach KEVA from a whole new angle! Full-color cards include a 2-D building challenge on one side and the solution on the other. Manipulate your KEVA planks to successfully duplicate the balance, proportion, composition and geometry featured on each card. Includes 20 KEVA planks, 30 double-sided cards and instructions in a zippered carrying case.

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