Backyard Adventure

Lower Age: 3
Upper Age: 7
Price: $74.99
Year Added: 2021
Amazon URL:
Backyard Adventure Model and Contents
Backyard Adventure, by Magformers, is a magnetic building set intended for children 3+.

This building set includes 61 magnetic tile pieces, three character figures, and assorted accessories. To use this kit, users will need access to a clean, flat, indoor play space. While this kit can be used on its own, it is also compatible with the complete Magformers line and so can be combined with other kits. This kit is used to build houses and play spaces for the Magformers characters to be in. The magnetic tiles snap together along the sides to create sturdy structures and additional features such as floor tile and window pieces snap into the magnetic square pieces. 

The kit does a great job of introducing children to different ways to build. For example, instead of block designs the tiles can be tilted sideways in building, stacked upwards, and laid along the ground, which are all fantastic introductions to spatial reasoning. This aspect also helps develop iterative design skills, as the building mechanics of Magformers are unlike that of other kits. However, this strength is also one of this kit's slight downfalls, as sometimes the pieces do not stay together as expected and the designs fall over. 

The kit and the building skills that it develops introduce children to iterative design, encouraging them to think of a design, build it, and fix any issues. Additionally, because children can place the pieces in so many different ways than other block building sets, this kit introduces spatial reasoning in a new and exciting way. Children also gain experience through mimicking the photos of designs on the box, using isometric views to create what they see. This kit would also be fantastic for children developing motor skills due to its building aspects. Finally, this kit develops logical and creative thinking skills, giving the user space to develop their own designs (there is no included guide) and analyze how to make these designs stable and effective. By playing with the Magformers Backyard Adventure Set, children develop more robust logical thinking, creative thinking, and spatial reasoning skills and are introduced to the iterative design process. 

Framework Categories

Engineering Thinking (EThink)
Processes of Design (POD)

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.