I’m always keeping an eye out for STEM toys during Toy Fair. Over the years, I’ve seen an influx of toys that help children learn about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. There are tons of kits that show kids how to get started in anything from robotics to game development. Today I’ve rounded up three toys that I think might be a hit for future engineers and devs.
Tenka Labs is an exciting new company that develops innovative STEM toys for Makers ages 8 and up. Our first product, Circuit Cubes, are electronic building blocks that bring kids’ creations to life. They were built from the ground up to fully integrate with LEGO®-style building blocks, but can be used with any materials kids can imagine — from vintage toys to recycled milk cartons. Circuit Cubes teach the basic fundamentals of electronics. Their unique transparent design enables kids to literally see the connections they make when they light an LED, power a motor, or activate a switch. Circuit Cubes can also be used vertically, horizontally, and diagonally to accommodate any design. Circuit Cubes were designed by STEM educators and FIRST LEGO League coaches, Nate and John.
MINION MIP! TURBO DAVE
Have you ever wanted to have your very own loyal henchman to help carry out all of your mischievous schemes? Meet Turbo Dave, your own personal Minion! Turbo Dave responds to hand gestures and can even navigate your room. Download the Turbo Dave App in order to control your Minion remotely, plan paths for him to self-navigate, or even have your Minion interact with other characters or props from the Despicable Me Franchise. Also included is a coding platform for high-tech programming fun. When desperate times call for DESPICABLE measures, Wowwee’s Turbo Dave can bring in the mischievous fun!
Learn to code through gaming! This kit introduces you to programming in a fun, step-by-step way. An Arduino-compatible gamepad connects wirelessly to your tablet. Using the gamepad and four interchangeable sensor modules, you play through a video game app on your tablet. In each level of the game, you have to learn a piece of the Arduino programming language and how to use it in order to solve puzzles and challenges and move forward in the game. In this way, you progressively learn the basics of coding. Soon you will be able to write programs on your computer using the four sensors and invent new applications. Following instructions in the 64-page, full-color experiment manual, you can create cool projects such as a light sensitive drawer alarm and a LED disco light that reacts to the movements of your fingers.