Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hands-On Construction Play with Design & Drill Socket to Me {A Review}

We had the wonderful opportunity of reviewing another product from Educational Insights. This is such a remarkable company, with just awesome products that combine fun with learning. For the construction-minded child, they have a wonderful, award-winning line of Design & Drill products. The newest toy in this series is called Design & Drill Socket to Me which is suitable for kids ages 4 and up. 

Enclosed you will find 4 separate sturdy plastic projects, along with 30 multi-colored bolts and a socket wrench that actually switches from forward to reverse.

There are 6 each of 5, bright, eye-catching colors.

A child can choose between the rocket, race car, robot, or tugboat.

 Below, you can see the switch used to choose between forward and reverse.  In order to attach the bolts you need to ensure that the bolt is tightening. The switch should be all the way to the right; you will hear it click into place. To loosen the bolts, just move the switch all the way to the left. When we first started using the wrench we didn't realize the switch wasn't quite "clicked in" and we couldn't figure out what was wrong. Surprisingly, mommy was able to figure it out without the help of daddy. If you are not hearing the real ratchet sounds, just check the switch. There are times it will move slightly while the child is working on a project.

As Hannah is our resident 4 year old, she had the honor of trying out the Socket to Me kit first. She was having a blast designing the rocket.

We did discover that it is necessary to use our fingers to twist the bolts on as far as they will go before using the socket wrench. This is a wonderful opportunity to develop the pincer grasp and work on twisting at the wrist.

It is then time to pick up the wrench and tighten the bolts. We have found that it is easiest to work with the projects if we are holding them in our hands. (For anyone who has an aversion to squeaking objects, do NOT allow your child to work on this with it resting against the table. Eeek!)

It took a few demonstrations from mommy, but she finally figured out how to get the wrench to work.

Yes, she was having a blast!!

So curious. She was watching how the bolt went in from the underside.

Finished project.

Amelia wanted a turn next. While the product is recommended for ages 4 and up, I wondered if my two older girls would be too old for it at 6 and 7 years of age. I discovered that I had no reason to be concerned. 

I was going to suggest that she try making her design symmetrical, because we had been learning about symmetry recently in our lesson times. Imagine my delight when she decided to do just that, without my prompting (or even hinting)!

In fact, both the robot and the rocket lend themselves to being designed symmetrically if a child so desires.

No need to worry about your children not using their imagination. Once the projects are completed, the children were having fun using them for such things as blasting up into space.

Though recommended for children 4 and up, Harold was trying valiantly to attach the bolts. 

I think with a little more work he may get this yet. 

Yes, he was supervised while using the bolts, which could be considered a chocking hazard.

I was also happy to see how safely this was designed.

The way the activity boards are designed, there is no chance of a child being poked or scratched with the bolts. As you can see, even when they are securely attached, they do not extend beyond the base.

The Design & Drill Socket to Me kit is full of safe, educational, skill building fun. 

Skills learned:
  • Your child will get to practice fine-motor skills while learning about tools. 
  • Color recognition and sorting
  • Math skills, such as counting and symmetry
  • Imagination development
  • Though there are obviously an even amount of bolts, I wish there were 3 more so that all of the projects could be used without taking bolts out of another one.
  • I would love to see either another wrench provided with the kit so more than one child could use this activity at a time, or have the ability to purchase one separately. Though it does teach a child to take turns and to wait patiently, the girls would have had a blast working together to create their projects.
  • The switch on the socket wrench does tend to get knocked out of position really easily, which can lead to frustration.

We always love the unique products from Educational Insights. Even with the concerns, this is no exception.

You can purchase the Design & Drill Socket To Me for $21.99 from Educational Insights.

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Don't forget to stop by later this week to enter to win your very own! 

Disclosure: I received the Design and Drill Socket to Me kit from Educational Insights in exchange for my honest review. I received no further compensation. This did not in any way influence my review. I only recommend products I use personally and feel will be a good products for my readers.


  1. I love that the socket actually works, that it can switch between forward and reverse and the slight case of ocd in me is more than thrilled you can design them symmetrically :) thanks for hosting such an amazing give away!

  2. I love that this allows for imaginative play!


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