January 14, 2019
Patent Attorney Chicago, IL
By Krista Sherinian
It’s been said when children learn through play they absorb new information twenty times faster than using standard classroom methods. Given it is predicted that the jobs of the future haven’t been fully conceptualized due to how fast technology is evolving it is wise to teach kids a variety of tech skills from coding to how to interact with artificial intelligence and robots.
Instead of traditional dolls that focus on style and accessories why not buy the girl in your life a Inventor Action Figure? Created by Goldie Blox, they have a variety of toys that promote girls developing engineering and problem solving skills while having fun learning through play.
For example, the toy kits use pulleys, cranks, and other mechanisms to operate the toys such as a Spinning Machine or a Builder’s Survival Kit. The Girl Scouts partnered with Goldie Blox to offer specially priced kits that troops can use to earn Mechanical Engineering badges through individual and groups challenges using the kits. With many STEM fields still male dominated it helps that toys assist girls in visualizing themselves in these roles in a successful manner.
SnapCircuits kits use snaps, wiring into simple mechanisms and a project book. What’s interesting is kids can build a number of projects from the same kit. They have the satisfaction of making lights turn on with switches or hooking up the power circuit to operate a motor with a fan. K’NEX is also a toy with project kits teaching teens to create things like amusement park ride replicas, track toys using sturdy plastic parts that link to metal battery powered mechanisms. For kids that enjoy building toys like Legos, K’NEX is a natural progression.
Most exciting of all is ways to combine gaming devices with a motivation for parents and kids to work as a team to build complex projects using cardboard and other building materials to hold various disconnected touchscreens that interact with Nintendo Switch. For example, the traditional gaming remote becomes housed in a cardboard sleeve that allows new movements than a joystick. Predictions from tech parent blogs are rolling in about other platforms such as Shapeways possibly creating other post-market ways to use these systems with components made from 3D printers. The Nintendo Labo can construct models, vehicles, robots and a piano complete with 3D cardboard keys folded from pre-fab kits. Could this be the next trend in gaming since the Wii made kids more willing to exercise while they game?