|Very simple models make an easy start|
The progressive sets provided another sort of progression. This is the way that even the largest sets introduced the recipient to a world of Meccano building that started with a simple model. The table that Sue built for her lamp to stand on is one such model, see HERE. Throughout the instruction manuals provided in those sets, progressively the models to build got bigger and more complicated, culminating in the ones that used most of the parts. This is something that has been missing from the sets of recent years. All the models in the modern sets use most of the parts. There are no instructions for very simple models included. The thinking here was that the beginner would buy a small set and work their way through the range buying progressively larger and larger sets. This may be a good plan in the board room but is total nonsense in the retail world. It just does not work like that. Apart from the fact that most kids will not settle for 'small' when there is a big box available, some the smaller models can be as challenging (if not more so!) as some of the larger ones.
|The 3-model set is a super little set, but...|
We have used those three models as the basis of our Make it with Meccano activity that we take to public events and it has proved immensely popular and productive. As we intend to continue with this event and expand it I have produced a further five very simple models that I hope the kids will show the same enthusiasm for. All of them can be build in a few minutes and teach some very basic 'rules of the game'.
|The red tree...|
|...and silver cacti|
|Mmmm... Ice cream!|
|It doesn't have to work - yet!|
The whole idea here is to give the kids something that is easy to build to prove that they can do it and it is not hard. Once the "look what I built" moment has passed there is far more likelihood that the experience will not only be repeated but the desire to move on, to progress, has been well and truly established.