Monday, March 26, 2007

Review: Our Amazing Bridges

"Our Amazing Bridges", from Poof-Slinky.
Bridge-building kit, ages 8 and up.

This kit is a nice hands-on addition to a study of Roman history, architecture, or engineering. The kit provides all the materials need to build a Roman arch bridge, a suspension bridge, and a truss bridge.

The Roman Arch bridge starts with instructions for mixing your own voussoirs (the curved arch pieces) using the provided molds and casting compound. This was a little tricky and our first attempts came out too dry and crumbly. Fortunately there was enough material to cover a few mistakes, so we tried again. The second time we had good results (a real-life lesson in persistence) and building the bridge itself was a snap.

We also built the truss bridge, which as you can see from the photo was sturdy enough to support several little Matchbox cars.
The kids had fun painting the landscape base with the paints (included). We even filled the river bed with water for a nice touch of realism when the paint had dried.

We haven't finished the suspension bridge as we only have the two towers completed so far, but those went together fairly easily.

The kit includes: plastic landscape base, paints, glue, and brushes, bridge parts, casting compound, sandpaper (for smoothly the finished voussoirs), a 48-page architecture book that covers a bit of the history and engineering involved in bridge building, and easy-to-follow instructions.

Reviewed by M.E.S. (3/27/2007)
Available at Amazon and other online stores.

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