January 20th, 2011

Electronic Snap Circuits

Manufacturer’s Recommended Age: 8+

Our Recommended Age: 7+

I am an only child, which means that I was the daughter they always wanted and the son they never had.  For this reason, my dad showered me with typically boyish gifts that he hoped I might enjoy, and sometimes he got it right.  Not every girl wanted a circuit set, but I was lucky enough to get one.  And actually loved it.

Fast forward to the present, and what better gift for my son (from my father) than a circuit set!  It seemed ideal, especially since they have improved so very much over the years.

Anyone who had one in the 80’s might remember the matrix of tiny springs and color-coded wires with bare ends that you had to most delicately slide into the springs.  The instructions were impossible, the wires sharp, and after hours of hard work and a little bleeding, a light finally flashed two times.  It was awesome.

But yesterday’s awesome is today’s blah.  The Electronic Snap Circuit kits are absolutely amazing!  The instructions are easy to follow and the projects are far more interesting—everything from a radio, to a doorbell to a burglar alarm. The way that the circuits go together is a million times easier and less painful.  All pieces clearly marked, they are the perfect size to hold and very easy to snap together on a grid.

For children who enjoy puzzles, this is a great toy.  It’s a nice combination of challenge, science, and nearly instant gratification.  Snap circuits also seems like a toy my son can grow with—there are expansion kits available as well as a computer interface for the super tiny techie.

The only con I can think of is that it is a toy with many smallish pieces, not suitable for younger baby or toddler siblings to be around.  Probably also not suitable for those who vacuum without first checking for pieces on the floor—though for as many miniature skateboard wheels and Polly Pocket shoes I’ve sucked up, this has a much better chance of survival and being a toy to enjoy for years.

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