Thinkfun Circuit Maze: Our Honest Review

When Timberdoodle sent us the Circuit Maze from Thinkfun, I was originally hoping that the kids’ grandpa would be able to teach them about electricity and play the game with them.

But they got really antsy to play it before we could get together with him, so mommy attempted to figure it out.

I’ll be honest.  When I opened the box and started reading the directions, my eyes glazed over and my anxiety started to kick in.  (One of the challenges of homeschooling with chronic illness, blah!)

I was so afraid I was going to create a short circuit and fry the game that I put it back away and told them they’d have to wait for daddy or grandpa to help them.

Fast forward several months and the game had still not been used.  We kept forgetting to take it to grandpa’s house, and time with daddy is usually spent doing outdoorsy stuff like soccer or basketball.

So once again, mommy braved learning something new, and this time I was successful!  All this time I had put it off because I was too intimidated, but it wasn’t really that hard once the kids allowed me a few minutes to concentrate without reading over my shoulder.

Learning about electricity with Circuit Maze | Homeschool STEM

 

How does it work?

First, mommy takes a crash course in electrical circuitry. 🙂  The pamphlet that comes with the game does a good job explaining it in an understandable way.

Then, the player draws a challenge card which gives him the location of specific pieces he must place on the game grid.  He must also place additional pieces wherever he thinks they will cause the electrical current to flow properly and light up the beacon lights.

Here is a video of my son doing a challenge:

 

There are around 60 challenge cards total, and each one gets increasingly difficult.  (The one he is doing is only number 5.  It was doable, but still challenging for him.)

 

 

Is there anything we didn’t like?

Like I mentioned at the beginning, learning how it worked was a little daunting for me, but once I powered through that it wasn’t all that hard to figure out.

It was also a little frustrating at times that some of the pieces didn’t click into the grid smoothly.  It was hard to tell if they weren’t lighting up because we put together the circuit improperly or because the pieces just weren’t clicked in all the way.

 

What did we like about it?

Anything that makes learning more fun is a win in both mommy and the children’s book!

I also really appreciate the fact that there are enough challenges included to make the game last for years to come.  Even as my children get older, they will still be able to use the harder challenge cards.

I like that each card has the solution on the back so that if you get stuck you can figure out what went wrong.

 

circuit maze challenge card

circuit maze solution

 

You can purchase Circuit Maze as a stand alone product here.

-OR-

Purchase the entire 3rd grade curriculum kit from Timberdoodle here.

MaryEllen

Hi! I’m MaryEllen. I currently have 3 children that I am homeschooling, from kindergarten through 4th grade. I also wrangle a toddler and will soon have another newborn in the house. Join me as I share real life stories of how I’m getting it all done (or not!)

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