Back in July, we were really lucky to be one of the first people in the UK to get our hands on one of the new Gravitrax starter sets and I have to say that although my kids soon lose interest in a lot of toys this one has really kept their attention. I think that the ability to build and test the tracks in the app before physically building the sets is what has really appealed to my girls. The problem is that they are beginning to get more adventurous with their builds which means that it is time to take a look at the Gravitrax Expansion sets.
Now we only have three of the Gravitrax expansion sets that are available. As well as the Expansion Trax, Expansion looping and Expansion Magnetic Cannon pictured above you can also get the Expansion hammer and the Expansion Catapult (my absolute favourite piece!).
The Expansion Trax set is great if you are happy with the starter set but you are just running out of the standard pieces. This set comes with more curves, track, balls and a cross piece as well as the pieces that allow you to add height to your build. All of the Gravitrax expansion sets can only be used with the starter set as you need the cardboard bases and the starter piece to get them to work properly.
The Expansion Looping set looks amazing and is something that the kids love to try out. This is one of the most temperamental pieces available for Gravitrax as you need to make sure that the balls have enough power to make it around the loop and this can cause frustration. However, this is a great learning opportunity and we have discussed forces and physics and worked out a variety of different ways to get the ball all the way around the loop. The easiest way to do this is to place a magnetic cannon in front of the looping piece as this provides an added boost but there are other ways so if you have this piece do keep trying and experimenting with track length and height to see if you can make it work.
Although you do get a magnetic cannon in the starter set this is one of the Gravitrax expansion sets that I would definitely recommend. The Magnetic cannons are easy to use and set up yet they are very effective. They provide a needed boost to the balls and enables the balls to go back uphill or around the looping piece or even just to keep going along the track. Adding these in places where the ball slows down or to get it to another level is ideal and if you start without these you can use it as a learning piece with kids to discuss the point that the ball needs more energy.
Overall, we love Gravitrax. My girls love building it and playing with it and I love the fact that they are learning so much about engineering and physics and enjoying it. As I said above there are other Graivtrax expansion sets available and if you get a chance then I would definitely recommend you take a look at the catapult which is a fantastic addition to a track that really adds a wow factor to any build.