The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Tess Hamre and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

Tekton Tower: Girder & Panel Building Set Review by Maggi Beardsley

Bridge Street Toys

Has your student outgrown the traditional Lego® kit? Tekton Tower brings the same excitement in a box for the over-six-year-old crowd. The engineer-creators designed this cantilever construction kit to allow children to experiment with real engineering principles. It is recommended by Dr. Toy for smart play, and it received the 2006 Family Choice award. The Tower comes in a small plastic bucket with a removable lid that clicks onto the box, and it has a handle for easy carrying. It is lightweight, so any child should be able to carry it.

The kit allows the student to design and construct a building. The student can build a store, a hospital, and more. Inside the box are plastic columns and beams that interlock together, mimicking a real iron-beam-and-column frame. The thin plastic panels used to create the outside of a building mimic the solid walls and windows of a building. The parts are scaled to the common HO scale of 1/87. The kit also comes with a small booklet that contains a few blueprints and information about the company. The website has a page called "Paul's page," where people have submitted pictures of their creations.

My 9-year-old reviewed the booklet that came with the kit to see what all of the parts were and instructions on how the parts fit together. She then looked at the transportation terminal blueprints and set out to imitate the model. My 11-year-old just took the parts and created a building from scratch. They loved creating with these parts! I liked that there were a few blueprints and that the children could create their own models too. Sometimes the window panels and utility walls didn't seem to fit exactly in the beams without a little trim.

The company has a new product that allows you to build a building and then run water through it using an electric pump. It sounds like a great building project for future engineers.

Product review by Maggi Beardsley, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2011