Gears! Gears! Gears! Treadmobiles Building Set

Lower Age: 5
Upper Age: 10
Price: $32.00
Year Added: 2021
Amazon URL:
Treadmobiles Model and Contents
TreadMobiles, by Learning Resources, is a 108-piece build-your-own vehicle kit for ages 5+.

The kit comes with various pieces that can be assembled to create movable contraptions with the use of the included instructions. The toy strengthens spatial reasoning skills, creative thinking skills, iterative design, problem solving, and perseverance in young users.

Similar to the other kits in the Gears! Gears! Gears! line, the toy introduces the user to mechanical engineering design aspects in a fun and challenging way. The toy is great for younger users because it introduces the user to more complex schematics that will strengthen their spatial reasoning. The contraptions are also slightly difficult to build, so it will be a great asset in building up perseverance and problem solving in younger users. Some adult guidance may be necessary, as the pieces can be slightly hard to assemble and may be a bit sharp around the edges. The user will most definitely engage in the design process in play with this toy, as it provides sample build layouts but explicitly encourages the user to design and build their own individual contraption. Many of the pieces included in the toy may be new to the user, especially the tread. TreadMobiles provides a twist on the classic build-your-own vehicle toy set, as it not only promotes creative thinking, but also incorporates much more than just the traditional wheel and axle. 

The toy helps the user practice the individual steps of the scientific process but relates them to engineering in a way that will not lose the user's attention. The application of the design process integrated with the car helps the user utilize methodical thinking rather than just throwing parts together and building a simple car. TreadMobiles is an excellent way for the user to connect their hands-on and intuitive thinking skills and does so in a way that allows the user to be consistently creative, as the 100+ pieces provided do not limit the number of designs that the user can create. Gears! Gears! Gears! Treadmobiles provides an excellent and engaging introduction to gears in a way that the target audience will be able to understand. With the endless variations of how each TreadMobiles piece can be put together, it is hard to see that this toy will get boring anytime soon. 

Framework Categories

Processes of Design (POD)
Engineering Thinking (EThink)

Moore, T.J., Glancy, A.W., Tank, K.M., Kersten, J.A., Smith, K.A., & Stohlmann, M.S. (2014). A framework for quality K-12 engineering education: Research and development. Journal of Precollege Engineering Education Research, 4(1), 1-13.