When you have family who is in the know, you get to try a whole bunch of neat toys. We recently received this Star Wars Sphero toy and it’s like having our own miniature moving R2D2 in our house.
We were already very familiar with Sphero because the boys used it at school and I bought them this one too. I know it has some kind of programming/coding element with one of its apps but I still haven’t figured it out. Do you know anything about the Sphero educational coding app? I bought this particular Sphero because it is see-through so the boys can watch the gears move around as it zooms across my house-my guys love to think about how things work. My guys have the Lego attachment for Sphero too and I think this is what totally adds to the creativity and versatility of this toy as well.
I was also sent this playground engineering toy that I wasn’t sure about but one of my guys really gravitated to it and built some neat things. It is meant for a younger kid, maybe someone in the 5-7 year old age range and I think it would have been a toy my guy would have mixed Playmobil and Lego figures when he was younger and played with a lot. But even though my guys are older, we had a few entertaining afternoons solving some building challenges and talking together about the things they built.
We are on our third month of Tinker Crate and I can’t see us quitting anytime soon. This month was AWESOME! The guys made a spinning paint wheel and I can’t believe they built it on their own. This was a build with many intricate parts and circuits and I love how accomplished my kids felt when they finished this project. They had me do a paint project and I learned a lot as they explained to me how I needed to pour the paint and how I could choose the speed at which the wheel spun by connecting a different circuit. This is the perfect type of gift if you are the aunt or grandparent of kids who love science, crafting and building.
Thanks to one of our aunts who also knows what is cool for 9-year-old boys we have these incredible light up shoes. Skechers LED Energy Lights are not really STEM focused but they use tech and plug in-I never imagined I’d be plugging in my kids’ shoes! These shoes often ends up in the colors blue and green for our home sports teams (GO SOUNDERS! GO SEAHAWKS!) and when the kids were them at night they are really fun and we get a lot of attention.
I also just heard about Lego tape and need to get my hands on some-does anyone know what brand to buy and does Lego make Lego tape? We have so much LEGO in this house, but Lego tape can make anything into Lego and I just see so many cool possibilities.
In Seattle we have many opportunities to engage with TECH and we are lucky that STEM skills can be practiced in Seattle at a really cool museum. We bought a membership at the Living Computer: Museum and Labs and this would be such a great experience gift for a family because it is an incredible place for grownups and kids and so many activiites are hands-on. I’ve never seen so many interactive robots in a room and we can play with ALL of them. I also got to play on the computers we grew up with and reminisce about the ‘old days’ in a gallery that shows all the computers up until present day phones.
Are you into STEM toys or activities with your kids? I’d love to hear if you have a favorite toy or place that encourages Science, Tech and Math education.
(PS I received the playground engineering toy for review and the opinions in this piece and my blog are always my own.)