Science Meets Fun
- What: Thames and Kosmos Gumball Machine Maker
- When: 6 years and up
- Why: Educational, entertaining, affordable
- Where: Amazon
Have a kid who loves experimenting? Maybe they can’t get enough of machines, or of building things out of any materials they can get their hands on. If you want to bring the joy of constructing their own machines home, look on further than the Thames and Kosmos Gumball Machine Maker.
This gumball machine made for kids ages six and up goes one step beyond dispensing brightly colored balls. Instead, kids use the included parts to assemble ramps and other obstacles for gumballs to traverse. It works much like a marble run, except kids can eat the marble at the end of the path.
This set includes a pulley, friction ramp, pendulum, funnel, trampoline, and more from the marvels of mechanical physics. Each piece can be moved around on the stable base to create an almost endless variety of combinations according to each kid’s desires. The manual walks kids through experiments with each type of piece so they learn how to connect it, and how it works. With easy step-by-step instructions and loads of illustrations, kids will have no trouble following and assembling this machine.
The set comes with gumballs included, but we’d recommend buying more to supplement the small supply. At over two feet tall, they can explore the magic of mechanical forces while indulging their love for building machines as soon as they get their Gumball Machine Maker.