Nick’s Picks for Educational Toys 2016
Tech Toys, STEM Toys, and More
As a tech coach and consultant, I get to check out the latest and greatest educational toys and gadgets. I’ve selected my favorite educational toys in three different price ranges. This is the second post in a three part series.
5 Tech Toys Under $50
Connect this little gadget to any computer with a USB port, and control that computer with practically anything you can connect alligator clips to. What a cool way to unleash creativity! Play a piano made of bananas, make a game controller from pencil lead on a sheet of paper, make your entire room interactive… What else can you do? This video has some pretty good suggestions.
Bloxels makes it easy for anyone to create a video game. Students arrange physical blocks on a game board to design layouts and characters, they then customize their design and develop their game using the free Bloxels app.
Recommended Ages 8-13, 5+ (with a bit of hand holding)
3D printers are awesome, but expensive. For those looking for a more affordable way to melt and shape plastic, try your hand at creating with a 3D Pen. I featured 3Doodler Create 3D Pen, the “worlds first and best selling” 3D printing pen, as a Tech Toy Under $100. I personally recommend the Soyan 3D Printing Pen as a comparable pen at less than half the price.
Kids will have fun building doorbells, burglar alarms, an AM Radio, and more. In my experience, the biggest challenge to teaching students how to build circuits centers on the dexterity required to connect wires. Snap Circuits Snap Circuits
has removed this barrier, allowing anyone to learn about electronics by snapping a series of plastic modules together. The modules are color coded to facilitate the building of 300 projects that are included in the manual.
Tiggly toys (letters, numbers, shapes) are physical objects that young learners use to interact with apps by touching them to the screen of a tablet or phone (check compatibility here). Described by the Financial Times as “a pre-school toy to WOW aspirational parents,” Tiggly Words comes with 5 Vowel Toys, that work with 4 engaging apps. Build reading skills with Sesame Street Alphabet Kitchen; learn short and long vowels with Tiggly Doctor; focus on word building with Tiggly Story Maker, and work on spelling patterns with Tiggly Submarine.
I only recommend products that I personally use or know their value, so you’re in good hands. Purchasing products through some of the links above may result in me receiving a couple of bucks. It helps offset the cost of hosting this site, but it’s certainly not enough to buy a pony. I do however appreciate your support!
If you find better prices on any of these items, please share in the comments below.
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