Teach kids about electronics and circuitry using Makerbloks kit

This toy set called Makerbloks is meant to teach kids about electronics and circuitry, using different kits, provided by the the developer company. A circuit in electronics is said to be complete, when it performs a specific task, like running a fan, or lighting a LED light using electricity (current) generated from different sources. I said different sources because small amount of electricity can even be generated from household potatoes, other than, the various regular methods of generating electricity in bulk. If you don't believe this, just watch this youtube video where, with the help of potatoes, current is generated to light up a LED light. The potato acts like a battery when anode and cathode are added to it.

Makerblocks are the different small plastic blocks and each block act like an electronic component. These blocks are magnetic in nature, and so can be connected with each other with magnetic forces to complete a definite circuit. Here is the official video of this product. There are three different kits provided along with this playset. All other kits only work when you have the starter kit, and two other kits (music and spy expansion kits) need to be purchased seperately.

For each kit there is a manual which provide instructions to create different circuits using the different types of blocks. For example, if you need to make a burglar alarm, then the instructions in the manual will be provided to make the circuit for the burglar alarm using the different blocks. Once the circuit is complete, child will be able to learn about the actual working of a burglar alarm, and also will be able to test it. Just touch the alarm, and it will make an alarming sound to alert about the security holes. So this is how it all works.

But this is not all, and there is lot more to do with this kids electronic playset. The company has also provided with a free storybook app, which can be downloaded on iOS and Android tablets. Using this app, you get access to Makercity and digital activity book with different chapters on your tablet. There are different activities performed by a female character of Makercity known as Gabi. Gabi is a young girl who lives in Makercity.

The storybook app is specifically designed to interact with different activities involved in Makercity, using the different blocks, and this interaction is carried out via bluetooth connections between the blocks and the app. It simply means, now you will have to solve the problems and puzzles coming on the way of Gabi and her neighbors, and these problems and puzzles will be related to virtual electronics failure. You need to simply make use of electronic blocks to solve all the problems by completing the faulty circuits, and this is how the child is going to learn the basics of electronics through actual interaction. Different games can also be created and played using the app and blocks.

If you want to go in more details, and want to know how each block functions as an electronic component then visit theamericangenius.com. This playset is quite similar to John Adams Hot Wires Electronics Kit which I mentioned earlier.

In John Adams kit more than 100 different experiments can be carried out, using the different electronic components provided. In other words, many different small electronic models can be created using a pair of battery as current source. But Makerblocks playset is different and unique in the sense, that the electronic blocks in it can also be used to interact with things provided in the app in the tablet, which is not possible in John Adams kit. But both the kits are good to gift someone.

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Written by: Rajesh Bihani

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