Design and Drill BrightworksMSRP: $39.99
- Develops fine motor skills
- Easy for young children to re-create designs in the include manual
- Little to no adult supervision needed
- 6 batteries required
- Several reports of drill not working (~3-4%)
- Questionable long-term playability
- Drill is somewhat slow
The recommended ages for the Design & Drill Brightworks is 3-7 years old.
- light up activity board
- 80 bolts
- power drill (with 2 bits)
- instruction manual (includes 12 patterns)
You can get an idea of the drill’s and bolt’s size with this image (quarter for scale):
Learning and Development
Educational Insights did a good job designing this set from an educational viewpoint. It offers several avenues for learning.
- Identifying colors and counting
In between drilling bolts in and out, my nephew (2 years old) has been learning colors this past week.
And my daughter has spent time counting bolts and counting holes to match up with the design patterns in the instruction manual.
- STEM learning
The STEM learning dimension is present, although not too much. The obvious connection is the drill which is a necessary part in any builder’s toolbox.
The design element, though, encourages children to pay attention to detail (if following the instructions) or identify and build their own patterns (if building independently).
- Fine Motor Skills
The set is all about fine motor skills. In order to drill, kids must first place a bit into the drill. And then they must position each bolt into its appropriate place on the board.
My three year old had very few issues with this, but I could see my 2 year old nephew struggling a bit. But, ultimately, he was able to get each one in.
Immediate Play Value
Design & Drill has some absolute immediate play value. This was one of the more popular toys opened on Christmas.
And even after Christmas as I have spent the last week in a house with 3 children, aged 2 years old (almost 3), 3 years old (almost 4), and 6 years old. Each of them has played with this drilling toy multiple times.
Even tonight, I had pulled my daughter’s set out to take some pictures and when she got home, she immediately gravitated to it.
Sometimes it is to put the bolts in and sometimes it is just to walk around with the drill. One reviewer on another site referred to this as two toys in one!
Long-Term Play Value
As much as I and the three children like the kit right now, I am not confident in the long-term playability of the set.
To an adult, it seems the drilling would eventually get monotonous. That said, there is the fallback option of it behaving as a miniature Lite Brite set.
And, I can see my daughter pulling the drill out anytime my wife or I are assembling furniture or making modifications around the house.
A number of parents who have had the set longer have indicated their kids did lose interest after a relatively short period of time.
- The drill is slow. This works well for small children, but as a parent working with them, it can be painstaking to wait for them to drill in every single bolt. We quickly learned it is quicker to unscrew them by hand.
- It never ceases to amaze me at just how much children love flashing lights.
- This set is overpriced at it’s MSRP of $39.99. Luckily, it rarely sells for that much at Amazon or other online retailers.
- We have only had the set for one week, but I am hoping that other parent’s comments regarding the batteries lasting for awhile is true; because 6 total batteries (3 AA for drill and 3 AAA for board) is a lot for one toy.
TheToyReviewer produced this box-opening video for the Design & Drill Brightworks. In it, she gives a first-person view of the parts included.
And this is my really short (and low-quality!) video to demonstrate the noise-activated lights on the Design & Drill. Stay tuned, or skip, to the end to check out the light-up drill.