An electronic kit to make models of different electronic items for kids

electronic base kit Littlebits

LittleBits Electronics Inc is a USA based company, founded by Ayah Bdeir, who is also the CEO of the company. This company has come up with certain electronic kits, and these easy to use kits can be used by children to make different models of real working electronic items found in the real world. The most basic and starter kit sold by the company is the Base Kit. You can watch this youtube video to know everything about the base kit and projects related to it. However, one can also purchase the advanced electronic kits sold by the company on their website. This base kit is also available for purchase on Amazon.

The base kit contains various ready to use electronic modules, and these modules can be snapped together due to their magnetic nature. The fact is, these modules are built in such a way that you cannot go wrong in connecting them together. This is because these modules will repel each other, and won't connect, if you are electronically using them in a wrong way to complete the circuit. In a way, its a revolution to take the electronic item manufacturers off their business, when everyone can learn on their own, the basics of electronics, using these easy to use modules. Not only people can learn, but later they can shift to bigger projects in the real world to invent new electronic products.

In the base kit, there are total 10 such modules, along with 3 accessories, and an instruction booklet. There is a simple rule associated with these 10 modules according to their colors. The electronics work in a sequential way : Power > Input > Wire > Output. First you need a power source like a battery to give current to the input source, and the input source transmit this current (in a controlled way) through wires to the output source, and the output source ultimately perform certain actions, or tasks, on objects it is associated with. That is the reason the 10 modules in the base kit are of 4 different colors. Blue modules for power, pink modules for input, yellow modules for wiring (basically joining), and finally green modules for the action.

Just the child need to snap them together, in an orderly manner, to complete a certain specific circuit to perform a certain electronic task. The real thing is to integrate different objects, or materials, within the circuit to make real electronic models, like making a small paper boat that actually float on water by using the motor module (provided along with the kit) and other modules. The object here will be the paper boat. Motor is an output module, and so its green in color, and motor module will actually power the boat to move on the water. Power module (where battery will be inserted) will be the source of energy or current.

The different modules in the base kit are: 1 dc motor (green module), 1 buzzer (green module), 1 bright LED (green module), 1 bargraph (green module), 1 button (pink module), 1 dimmer (pink module), 1 light sensor (pink module), 1 power source (blue module where battery will be inserted or connected through power outlet), 2 wires (yellow module). If you check these modules carefully, you will find that input modules like button, dimmer and sensor are basically used to control the flow of current. Just like you use a switch to control the speed of your fan.

Output modules like a DC Motor is the main thing to perform an action. For example, just fix a very small plastic made fan into the shaft of the motor, and it will start rotating (once you complete the circuit), and this is what the action is in the form of output. Another output module, like buzzer, will make a sound as an output (when circuit is complete) which is also an action. So these modules are quite easy to understand, and can be easily integrated with different objects or materials to perform different tasks on the objects. More than 1,50,000 different combinations of circuits can be made using the modules, and its all great fun to test out different things. This product is definitely a great gift idea. You should watch the video mentioned above for the base kit, and it will clear more regarding the working of the modules. Hope that helps.

If you need something cheaper than you can go with this John Adams Hot Wires Electronics Kit. But in this kit if components are wrongly connected it may cause a short circuit. Littlebits kit, mentioned above, is safer in the sense that the modules cannot be connected in wrong way, as the modules repel each other if connected in a wrong way.

Also there is one more similar electronic kit by which different puzzles can be solved, and virtual circuit faults can be corrected on tablet, using electronic blocks (instead of mouse or keyboard), which is quite unique concept in itself.

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Written by: Rajesh Bihani

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