In the meantime, Eli's really learning to use his junior SNAP kit, and is loving it. We have been so impressed with it, that I have really wanted to write about it. We've not been paid by the company and are not affiliated with it in any way....we're just having a lot of fun and are excited to share! The SNAP kit is basically a set of electrical components that literally snap together (like the buttons on blue jeans) and runs on 2 AA batteries. It has really simple directions (with clearly labeled diagrams) and explanations of how things work. Eli does require help/supervision, of course, but he has gotten to where he can actually build a couple of the projects independently. The kit is recommended for ages 8+, but younger kids who are interested in electricity can still do a lot with it. Eli's had a really unusual interest in electricity and how it works, so we took the opportunity to try to learn with him. This really has been a great tool...even I've learned a lot! Eli has learned how to complete a simple electrical circuit to wire a tiny light bulb and a simple motor (it runs a tiny plastic fan). Yesterday, we learned how to wire a sound-activated music chip and tiny speaker....and how to use a resistor to change the volume on the speaker. Today, we learned about series and parallel circuits. In addition to reading the diagrams, Eli is also learning to read/follow coordinates (the grid is labeled like the grids in the game BattleShip). Tomorrow, we will probably do the activities on series and parallel circuits. The projects are sequenced in order of difficulty and in such a way that we learn techniques and vocabulary as we go. Eli LOVES using it so far, and so do I!
Here's a video of our second time using the kit (yesterday). Eli snapped in everything except the battery pack; he has trouble orienting it, and is still learning how to use the coordinates.
Today, he wanted to repeat some of the projects we did yesterday, and needed very little help - even when it came to reading the diagram!
The great part is that Eli can repeat the activities over and over...to his heart's content. And with more than 100 activities...he should be busy for a while!