STEM skills targeted: Electronics, programming
Recommended age: 8+
Little Bits are modular electronic learning kits for little makers, inventors and future electronic engineers, inspired by Lego bricks.
Unlike traditional electronic kits which can be fiddly and require stripping wires, soldering and complicated diagrams, Little Bits uses block components that magically click together with magnets so even young children can create electronic circuits without help.
All the blocks are color coded and the magnet means they cannot be put together incorrectly.
These kits are a simpler and more portable alternative to Snap Circuits but Snap Circuits have the advantage of being cheaper and with more scope for complex projects – its up to you to decide which set is best for your kids!
The newest kit from littleBits is designed to be the ultimate inventor's toolkit, packed full with buzzers, motors, wheels, lights, a remote control and more that can all be easily snapped together to create amazing electronic inventions.
The kit include 15 electronic base components, 48 accessories and instructions for 12 projects including:
The base kit is one of the smaller littleBits kits and is a great starter set. It includes 10 modules including a DC motor, dimmer and light sensor. The kit comes with instructions for 8 projects and there are many more online. This kit is compatible with all the other littleBits kits and you can combine them for bigger and more complex projects.
The premium kit comes with 14 Bits, some of which are not included in other kits such as a fan, pressure sensor and vibration motor. This kit comes with instructions for 10 projects including a Playful Pet, bubble blower and Interactive Piggy Bank and there are hundreds more online.
This is the kit for future musicians, DJs and rock stars. 12 electronic Bits including speaker, oscillator and keyboard snap together to create amazing musical circuits to create a range of fun sounds, create electronic instruments, and learn about analog synthesis.
The box converts into a performance station that can be connected to recording or live sound equipement.
This is the biggest littleBits kit and comes with 18 components and an instruction book for 15 projects. Kids can create fun machines such as the Unihorn Helmet and the Swimming Shark.
The Space kit was designed in collaboration with NASA scientists and engineers and is the perfect gift for little wannabe astronauts and space scientists. I was obsessed with space when I was a kid (and actually ended up going to university to study physics with space science) so I would have loved the opportunity to play with this electronics kit!
The kit includes 12 electronic modules including light sensor, microphone and remote trigger, 5 lesson plans written by NASA and 10 STEAM activities. With the kit you can create a Mars rover, satellite dish, star chart, or energy meter for measuring the atmosphere.
This littleBits kit includes special components allowing you to make internet-connected devices and use them with web services such as Facebook, Twitter and Gmail and hardware including NEST and Philips HUE – any service listed on IFTT.com can be used
You can use this kit together with any other littleBits components to create inventions that can communicate with the Internet and use the included remote control and readout to control your devices from across the room.
Examples of what you can create with the cloudBit and other components in this kit:
This kit is a little more complex than some of the other kits, with more detailed concepts to understand, and is recommended for age 14+ There’s real scope for some fun projects and learning activities for teenagers or highly focused older kids.
Most of the littleBits kit are pure electronic kits and cannot be programmed but the Arduino-at-heart module included in this kit can be used to expand the scope of projects, allowing you to incorporate programming into your circuits.
Using the 8 components in this kit you can create an Etch-A-Sketch, program a visual display or create an analog Pong game. With other components you can create more advanced projects such as an animatronic hand that plays rock paper scissors.
If your child is interested in programming, this is a great way to help them have fun and learn at the same time and can be used for some quite advanced and sophisticated electronic prototypes. It’s recommended for kids aged 14 up but kids from about the age of 10 could enjoy it if they have the interest and patience to learn how it works.
This new electronics kit from littleBits allows you to make internet-connected devices right out of the box and upgrade your home devices into smart objects that can be controlled remotely
You could control your AC from your smartphone, automate your curtains to open as the sun rises or make a remote controlled pet feeder.
This is a great electronics kit for the whole family and is perfect for curious kids who love tinkering with household devices and anyone who enjoys a spot of DIY to upgrade what they already have around the house. Everything can be automated with IFTTT to connect with web services like gmail, Twitter and Facebook. No wiring, programming or soldering is required.
The kit includes 14 Bits which include a temperature sensor, MP3 player, sound trigger, usb power, light sensor, button, servo, LED, split, synth speaker, IR transmitter, threshold, number+ and the cloudBit which allows your circuits to be connected to the internet. Also included are 11 accessories including an AC switch to control wall outlets and a booklet of 12 projects to get you started.