Can We Build It?

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science toys

LittleBits

Littlebits are an interesting take on the build it concept.  Instead of blocks or pieces, these are parts of something bigger.  The set includes LED lights, Servos, battery or power blocks and sensors of various types.  These pieces are broken down into 4 categories- input, sound sensors, buttons, etc; output, LED lights, Servos; power and connectors, wires to transmit a signal long or short range, or to break up a signal by fixed intervals.  When first looking at the box, it almost looks like someone took apart a complex electronic device, and it’s your job to put it together. However, this set is much more than that.  When stringing the pieces together, the user can make simple or complex circuits that can do everything from massage your back, to working a backhoe, or if the creativity is really flowing bring a drawing to life.  The instruction book is a great tool in learning how each piece works but the best way to really learn is hands on and with this set
hands on is easy to work with.  There is no danger of electrocution when connecting or disconnecting pieces.  They are held together with strong magnets and can only fit together in such a way that short circuiting the boards is difficult.  When playing with LittleBits it was great fun watching Little Man make connections in his head, from what he wants to happen to how he can make it happen using the pieces at his disposal.

science toy

Air Stream Machines

Air Stream machines is an educational set which teaches kids about air pressure and air driven mechanics.  The book included is part instruction book, part educational tool.  Each project is broken down into simple steps while showing real world examples of air pressure, air flow and electrical to mechanical energy.  The star of the set is the hover craft.  This project is simple to build and rewarding as well.  With an adult helper, the pieces fit together perfectly and work just as the instructions say.  The hover craft can float over land or water on a pillow of air.  Little Man’s eyes lit up like Christmas trees when the hovercraft’s air pillow inflated then started moving.  This set is perfect for anyone young or old who is fascinated with vehicles and science in general.

pic2

Edutech Throttle Motorcycle

The line of toy vehicles was designed to teach kids about the ins and outs of cars, trucks and helicopters. When the coded buttons are pressed, the vehicles come to life with real lights and sounds. Each vehicle includes an interactive storybook that allows parents and children to read and play together.
When is a toy motorcycle almost as complex as its bigger real world breathern?  When it’s the Eductech Throttle motorcycle.  This motorcycle was built with the little tinkerers in mind.  The toy has 10 features of a real motorcycle without all the revving.  Some of the features include transmission system, exhaust system, throttle, suspension, brakes and turn signals.  Each of these are illustrated and explained in the included book including the codes used, via 4 buttons on the top of the toy.  These codes let kids program the bike to follow a chain of commands and make this toy quite unique.  The toy is heavy and has a lot going on inside, to show kids what really happens in a motorcycle.  The heft is so great that Little Man actually thought the batteries were already included.  In the end he did enjoy the toy, once batteries were inserted and liked to see how it really worked.  The clear outer shell was a great touch.

candy making kit

Candy Chemistry

This is a different take on science and chemistry, as you create real, edible candies and chocolates at home. You and your child can learn the science of cooking what is likely some of their favorite foods. Your family can learn why sugar crystallizes, and about heat and the phases of matter by molding chocolates and using the candy thermometer. Have your child work with measurements and conversions, volumes, and weights, and eat the conclusions.
While this set includes plastic and metal molds, candy thermometer, spatula, dipping fork, foils, paper cups, sticks, wrappers, and a candy thermometer (as well as 48 page manual), you need to supply the ingredients.

Comments

  1. LittleBits looks like a blast!

  2. This would peak my 3 year old’s interests. He’s into trucks and how things work!

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