I have been recommending Snap Circuits from Elenco to anyone who will listen. Why? First of all, kids are underexposed to engineering skills, especially of the electrical sort. Second of all, kids love engineering stuff, especially of the electrical sort. There’s a magic in snapping some pieces together, flipping a switch and having a light turn on, or music play. Snap Circuits make it all very accessible with components that snap together. Literally. Like you’re snapping your coat. Putting the pieces together is akin to assembling a LEGO set. We have done projects with our 5 and 7 year olds. They need guidance, but really enjoy it. And even if they don’t understand all of the concepts, your kids will start to get the basics of circuits. So will you.
We have the Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 set, which comes with more than 30 pieces and a booklet with over 100 projects. The booklet starts with very simple projects that can help kids understand how the components work, and builds up to more complex projects, including some games. The set includes a speaker, light sensor (photoresistor), motor, a few special circuits with specific tasks, an LED, and a bulb. The projects are pretty cool. You can make a salt water detector, a spin drawing tool that will make circular art, and an electronic bombing game (similar to Battleship).
Snap Circuits has larger sets, as well as upgrades to this basic set. If you’re passionate about green living and eco power options, you’ll also want to check out the Elenco Snap Circuits Green – Alternative Energy Kit kit which covers windmills, solar power, hand cranks, and rechargeable batteries. There are mini kits that do one or two things and start at around $15. The Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 retails for $33 (but is now about $22 on Amazon), and the larger kits can run upwards of $100. You can also buy individual pieces.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. There was no compensation provided for this review.