Ein-O's Human Brain Box Review
Parents may want to skip Ein-O's Box Kits as gifts but keep them in mind as great visual aids when the science fair rolls around.
TEDCO Toys, known for its scientific and educational playthings, has put out a series of small, affordable box kits that cover a variety of topics. These science sets inform on and illustrate everything from crystal growing to chemistry to how motors work. We chose Ein-O's Brain Box Kit (starting at $9, Amazon), part of the human biology series, to try out with our young toy expert.
The kit itself is well-packaged in a clear plastic box that's roughly the size of a slice of bread, only much deeper. It consists of a colorful, 3-D anatomical model of the brain (assembly required) and Ein-O's I Know Guide, which provides a basic description of the anatomy of the brain and how each part functions. Our 8-year-old toy tester skipped over the guide completely and jumped right into assembling the brain model, using the packaging illustrations as a guide. She liked that the pieces were color-coded, but it threw her for a loop that the colors of the brain parts she received were different than the colors used on the packaging. The assembly process was more complex that you would think, partly due to unclear instructions, and eventually an adult was recruited to help put the brain together.
Even when the brain model was fully assembled, the pieces just sort of sat there in the provided tray, rather than fitting together securely, and fell apart easily when jostled. At that point the kit also lost all appeal for our tester. She commented that you "can't really play with it. It's a science kit for school or something."
Despite its failure as a traditional toy, Ein-O's Brain Box Kit is a simple way to educate young scientists about the anatomy of the brain by providing a hands-on experience. When used in conjunction with other materials, and with additional instruction from an adult, the human biology box kits help illustrate the body in a way a textbook can't. That said, this is not the kind of gift that's liable to elevate you to "cool" status in a child's mind (unless that child is president of the science club). Our recommendation: Skip these kits as gifts but keep them in mind as great visual aids when the science fair rolls around.