Fischertechnik Profi Hydraulic. I can not say enough about how wonderful and engaging this product was for my kids. Product however may not be the right word, machine or multiple machines is better. With five builds from a simple hydraulics demo to a giant excavator the fun doesn't stop. My kids loved building all of these models, I have to admit I loved working on them as well. We all learned so much and had lots of fun as well. This set is included with the Timberdoodle 8th grade curriculum kit.
The five models are great representations of how hydraulics work, inspire curiosity and offer unique learning opportunities. Inside your instruction booklet is a website for learning more about how hydraulics work and why we use them. We did see there are some extra accessories to get for the two bigger builds where you can attach working lights, which we hope to get in the future. The five models are a Demo Model, Lift, Car Crusher, Snow-cat and Giant Excavator. While the demo model used just a handful of pieces, the giant Excavator used nearly every piece. My kids can't wait to try and design their own builds and really let their imaginations run wild to see what they can come up with.
The Fischertechnik Profi Hydraulic comes in a very sturdy box with lots of space to keep its over 500 parts contained. All the parts come in bags a lot like Legos with different sizes and shapes mixed together. I found it odd that knowing there would be multiple builds with some very small parts that bags weren't resealable. We found this made building a little more challenging to find the pieces we needed for each build. We sorted the pieces by shape and type in snack size baggies which really helped to ensure no lost pieces and finding needed pieces faster. After deconstructing the different machines, all the pieces fit back nicely in the box.
The instruction manual is very detailed. All the steps are broken down into small steps with pictures that are labeled. That is especially helpful for some of the angled pieces that look very similar. When you need a specific size or angle the part is pictured true to size so you can compare it. I will say when attaching the newly built pieces to your main build that those pictures aren't always super clear. It was hard to tell exactly where some of the pieces attached. All in all, if you have ever built a Lego you will be able to use this instruction manual and build some incredible machines.
Fischertechnik Profi Hydraulic offered hours of learning fun. While it was more challenging for my daughter turning a 2D image into a 3D model her brother was happy to help. It really did help her though, be able to see things from a different perspective. Although she is super girly and building things doesn't usually interest her, the big machines kept her captivated and eager to learn more.
As stated above this is included in the Timberdoodle 8th grade curriculum kit, but my daughter in 4th grade was able to build all the machines. I feel this is appropriate for ages 9 and up. Kids on the younger end of that though, may need some help completing the builds on the bigger models.
While the hydraulics are really cool, I learned quickly to have them look ahead and attach the hoses for the bigger machines before it says to in the manual. Even tiny hands had a hard time attaching them if we waited to the end to attach them like it calls for in the manual. The levers for the hydraulics because of the ridges on the side sometimes got a little stuck and difficult to pull and push if you weren't careful about pulling straight up and down. We did learn however, if the idea of setting your kids loose with water filled pumps gives you pause, using just air will work, just not as well.
These were so much fun to build. We had to dedicate a chunk of time to work on them as once they started they didn't want to stop. We do a four day school week so we can have Fridays for fun. Fischertechnik Profi Hydraulic has become a favorite activity in our Fun Friday routine. We left each model built for a week to truly be able to explore it and see how it worked. The kids even did research on their own time about hydraulics and other machines that use them. Fischertechnik offered us an easy way to incorporate STEM into our home school in a very rewarding way!
We thoroughly enjoyed playing with the Fischertechnik Profi Hydraulic and would highly recommend it for all families looking to incorporate more STEM in your learning. It would be a great addition to students who are home schooled as well as those in the traditional school setting. As I stated above, it does come with some very small pieces, so it would need to be kept away from small children. I also recommend building on a hard surface like a table or wood floor as some pieces are really tiny and could become lost in thick carpeting.
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Disclaimer: I received this product from Timberdoodle for free, in order to use it and share it on my blog. I was not obligated to write a positive review. I only share books, products and resources that I have personally used and found to be of good quality and would benefit my readers. All my opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links that I may receive a small commission from at no additional cost to you.