By Geek Mama Amanda Gurall —
My daughter wants to invent things as a hobby, so when Snap Circuits sent me a set, I knew it was the perfect thing to inspire her. I’ll admit, she was more confident than I was, as I did not know anything about electronics. Snap circuits turned out to be a really fun and easy introduction to electronics and my daughter loved it.
The teacher and student guides are so helpful in teaching the principals and elements of the set to kids and while the age to start is commonly 8, I found doing it as a family and helping my six year old daughter worked out very well. They also make a snap circuits Junior. The principal behind snap circuits is making wiring and things like resistors and motors simple to use with no soldering. The “wires” are actually housed in plastic strips with actual snaps in them, and everything snaps together on the clear plastic base which acts as a motherboard.
We started at the beginning with the project book from our Sc300 set and each project teaches as you go, adding pieces and teaching new concepts. We made 4 projects in one sitting starting with an electric light and switch and ending with adjusting the sound level as the music box played a song. My daughter had a lot of fun and felt quite empowered, I heard a very proud “I did this myself!” quite a few times. Much like coding on the computer it seems that learning this opens their horizons, removes some mystery and let’s kids know that they can learn the basics and let their imaginations run to invent new things.
The pieces come in a sectioned box and I suggest keeping everything in order to make sure nothing breaks or gets lost, this is definitely a toy I keep in the closet for now. An older child could really amuse themselves with this set, building 300 experiments on their own including a lie detector, an AM radio and several games! The instruction books are clear with good drawings and explanations. I highly recommend buying a snap circuit set, they have many to choose from for every interest and level though I did find this set to be an excellent starting point. I am looking forward to science Sundays being time together we can both learn and play and anticipate snap circuits will be something we do weekly!
Snap circuits are sold at many toy and science stores nationwide and can be found at www.www.snapcircuits.net.net along with more project ideas and a chance for kids to show off their creations. The set I have is the sc300 and suggested retail price is $66.99. Their customer service is also terrific, if part of the set does not work you can have it replaced for free.
Elenco provided me with a sample set but as always all opinions are my own.