Friday, 15 July 2011

Friday review: Haba Ball Track Sounds Starter Set

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When I was told that the second batch of toys for my family to review as part of the Haba Mums Club I was really excited as to what it would be. My children and I had loved the previous lot of toys and were hoping that these would give as much pleasure. I have to say that my 4 year old son's facial expression when he saw the ball track box gave me a good idea of how much he was going to enjoy it.

The Ball Track Sounds Starter Set is part of Haba's wooden building blocks and ball track sets range. It can stand alone as a toy or be used in conjunction with other sets. With an RRP of £81.99 it's not the cheapest toy on the market but it looked and felt really high quality.

With my son we had an experiment to see how we could use the different parts to make music with the marbles. As he is only 4 he needed quite a bit of help to work some of it out but I'm sure that over time he will become quite adept. He did manage to incorporate one of our little wooden stools into a run to make it more exciting. The fact that the marbles "played" the musical instruments added to the fun:

A xylophone and drum effect

We enjoyed working together to problem solve getting the marbles to run effectively and to make the most noise! It was a good educational experience as he had to choose different sized blocks to raise the runs to the required height.

My daughter at 7 was keener to have a go without any adult assistance. I persuaded her to first try and copy the picture on the box as I thought they wouldn't have photographed a run that didn't work. My theory proved correct and the children had great fun running the marbles  down the run:


My daughter then went on to experiment more and try her own variations to see what she could do:


She was happy for quite some time experimenting with various combinations some more successful than others. As a starter pack there are a limited number of combinations but a variety of pieces such as a mini tunnels and differing lengths of slide. I can see that having additional sets of wooden blocks would make this a much more versatile toy. There are certainly plenty of tempting additional sets that are available on the Haba web site. If you got this set for your 3-4 year old it would be a good investment for the future plus you would have plenty of chances to add to it when money allowed.

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