Although we live in an age where there are many ways to supplement the education of young learners outside the classroom, it can be a challenge to enhance the education of students while also keeping them engaged. Edtech toys can be a great way to combine learning with hands-on activity. Luckily, there is a wide variety of edtech toys available, so you’re sure to find something that students will enjoy and benefit from.
To help you narrow down your search for the best and most useful educational toys, we’ve compiled this list of 10 edtech toys to excite young learners:
Meccano’s fun and engaging Micronoid set allows students to create their own personal robot that can fit in the palm of their hand. Children can build the body of the robot using the parts included in the kit, and then they can program how the robot moves with push-button programming. Micronoid can walk, turn, dance, smash through obstacles and interact with other Micronoids. This 2017 Toy of the Year finalist is a great way to get your children excited about engineering and programming through hands-on play.
Dash is an interactive robot for ages six and up that enables kids to virtually program its actions in real time. It has a fun, engaging personality that captivates children’s attention and makes learning virtual coding fun for all. It can also be used with several accessories, such as a xylophone, bulldozer bar and tow hook, and can be programmed to interact with each of these additions to accomplish a wide variety of tasks. Dash has been recognized in many edtech toy contests and awards, and you can be confident that it will be a valuable supplement to your childrens’ STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education.
littleBits are STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) learning kits with which children can build and program their own inventions using simple electronic building blocks that intuitively snap together. Using a system of power, input, output and extension blocks, children can creatively solve problems with their own original inventions. The Gizmos & Gadgets kit includes 68 bits and accessories that children can use to build a variety of inventions, such as remote-controlled cars that can be driven with a smartphone. Childrens’ creativity is sure to soar when they discover all of the exciting possibilities offered by littleBits’ physical computing kits.
Similar to littleBits, Snap Circuits are sets of modular electronic pieces that can be snapped together to create exciting projects like AM radios, doorbells, digital voice recorders and more. Snap Circuits are more technical than toy, so they can be very useful to make everyday technology and electronics lessons in the classroom more fun. They also come with step-by-step manuals, making it easy for students to learn how to use the kit for projects and strengthening their ability to follow directions.
Cubetto is a screenless coding solution for children ages three and up. The Montessori approved creation kit includes a Cubetto wooden robot, coding blocks, a control board and interactive maps and challenges. Students can manipulate the robot with lego-like, tactile coding blocks that each correspond to a specific action, such as moving forward, backward, or left and right. This solution is unique in that it is designed for pre-school children, aged three to six. The robot and all its pieces are large and durable enough to be handled by the hands of little ones. Plus, it enables early introduction of programming and other STEAM principles, which helps to lay a strong foundation for later STEAM exploration.
The Kano Computer Kit is an intuitive DIY computer, which learners of all ages can use to build their own computer, learn to code, and create art, games and music. Children will get excited about engineering and technology when they realize they have the power to create their own computer that is capable of entertaining them for hours on end. Powered by Raspberry Pi, a Kano Computer Kit comes with everything necessary to build a computer from the bottom up with simple, picture-guided directions akin to building Ikea furniture. Once you’ve built the computer, 100+ challenges and stories show you how to use it to create your own content, and an online community called Kano World enables you to share your creations with Kano users all over the world.
Makey Makey is a creation kit where children can invent their own circuits, interactive crafts and DIY sensors to accomplish a variety of tasks. The device mimics a keyboard and mouse and makes it possible to control any computer program with everyday objects. Each kit offers thousands of possibilities for creating unique inventions with the kit pieces as well as different materials from home, such as foil, pennies and even pen and paper. Makey Makey promotes imagination in students of all ages and gets them excited about STEAM topics in a highly accessible way.
Circuit Maze is an electric current logic game in which the goal is to arrange the game pieces to create a real circuit that lights up different colored beacons. With 60 challenge cards ranging in difficulty from Beginner to Expert, everyone is sure to find an exciting challenge while playing this game. Circuit Maze is good for growing young learners’ sequential reasoning skills and critical thinking abilities.
- Nintendo Labo for the Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Labo kits are a variety of DIY cardboard building kits that children can use to interact with their Nintendo Switch. Kids can drive on-screen vehicles by building a steering wheel and gas pedal from one cardboard kit, or they can control an in-game robot using a DIY cardboard robot suit built from another kit. There is also a new VR kit that can further excite students about technology and learning. These kits are an especially good way to bring STEM education into the home and make your kids’ love for video games a productive learning experience.
Magna-Tiles are the original 3D magnetic building sets with durable magnetic tiles that can be connected in endless orientations to create cool structures and geometric figures. If you’ve ever used those colorful 2D shape tiles in the classroom to create geometric patterns and strengthen spatial skills, Magna-Tiles are a next-level spatial understanding and engineering exercise. With many different uses in the classroom and fun creative building activities at home, Magna-Tiles can keep your young learner entertained for hours on end.