Snap circuits are a fun way for children to learn more about electronics. Kids can make all kinds of cool things, including remote control toys, simply by snapping the right pieces together. But are snap circuits worth it? I have to say I found that the great thing about snap circuit sets is that they are both incredibly easy to use, come with everything you need, and are totally safe for recommended kids ages. Each set contains motors, resistors, switches, transistors, and capacitors for exciting projects.
The pieces in a snap circuit set snap together, so kids don’t have to mess about soldering wires. I believe modular pieces that snap together that look like real electronic components are ideal for young children. In addition, I noticed smaller snap circuit sets could be combined, so more modules are available, which increases the educational value and puts larger projects within reach. I believe the best sets come with instructional guides and lots of projects to try, but separate guides are available to help your child make the most of his snap circuit set.
I think the snap circuit range of standout sets is a wonderful educational toy for kids, so here is our guide to the best snap circuits for open-ended and educational exploration.
8 Snap Circuits That Kids Will Love
The Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Exploration Kit is perfect for kids aged eight years and above. It has won The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval. The set includes more than 29 different pieces and instructions for 100+ projects, including a flashing light, a siren, and other quick experiments. This amazingly cool kit will help children gain valuable hands-on experience designing and building simple electrical circuit boards.
This electronics exploration kit is a fun way to teach kids the basic electronic concept of circuits with fun projects that can be part of a STEM curriculum. Kids learn basic concepts about light waves, conductors, and electric currents. I was surprised that it actually takes up minimal space and is durable and easy to use – worth getting for your child. I recommend this quality product as the perfect introduction to electronics for children in elementary school and older.
The Snap Circuits Green Energy Kit focuses on renewable power sources, where kids can experiment with solar power, windmills, hydroelectric power, rechargeable batteries, and liquid batteries. With over 129 ‘Green’ projects that can be created, this is the perfect kit to teach electronics with a wonderfully modern and sustainable twist.
I believe kids learn by doing, and I think this Snap Circuits Green Energy kit is one of the best base kits for kids. With fun experiments, they learn how renewable energy is generated with solar power, rechargeable batteries, hydroelectric power, and windmills.
3. Snap Circuits SC-300 Electronics Discovery Kit with Snap Circuits Lights Electronic Discovery Kit Bundle
The SC-300 snap circuits electronic discovery set contains 60 different parts and detailed instructions for 300+ projects. If you want a safe way to introduce your kids to electronics and learn about electrical currents, I recommend this bundle with two snap circuit sets. The set has won The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval. It was also voted the Dr. Toy 100 Best Children’s Products.
With the Elenco Electroncis Snap Cicuti SC-300 colored graphics and the plastic board, kids can build a working doorbell, a radio music alarm, and a burglar alarm. There are 305 creative projects to build. In addition, the Snap Circuits Light Electronics Exploration kit features over 175 STEM engineering projects using a strobe light with spinning patterns or lights changing to the music beat on your smartphone. Once they have mastered the basic configurations of the electronic pieces, children can use the components to design their customized circuits. With the instruction book and simple configurations, your kiddo will probably not require adult assistance to create an electronic masterpiece.
I was impressed with this bundle; the 300 was worth the cost because of its number of projects and variety. If your child loves electronics, then this is a great gift for your child.
The Snap Circuits Arcade Electronics Exploration Kit set teaches a child some beneficial skills like problem-solving and following directions. If your child gets it right, they will ultimately be satisfied with a well-done job. This simple circuit set is another exciting product from the award-winning Snap Circuit line of Electronic Discovery Kids.
There are over 36 different modules included with the Snap Circuit Arcade set, which can be used to complete 200 projects. I was impressed with the number of exciting projects a child can build with this set. The electronics kit supports a STEM or STEAM curriculum. I recommend using the colorful project guidebook for exciting project ideas ranging from simple circuits with an input switch, a push button component, and LED light output to complex project games with fun sounds and lights.
The Snap Circuits motion electronics exploration kit includes instructions for more than 165 amazing physics and motion project ideas, including a voice changer, a color-changing light fan, a motion sensor, and an optical Theremin. The set includes 50 different parts and a full-color manual to make it easy for children to follow. All of the pieces snap together in the plastic grid.
Younger children can begin with simple projects, snapping electrical components onto a base plate and working their way up to more complex circuits. The set is suitable for kids aged eight years and above. I found kids like the building blocks structure and the wide variety of STEM projects. The book of projects will keep kids busy building their favorite projects and expanding to more complicated projects.
Elenco snap circuit sets have won numerous awards, and this one is no exception. The Extreme SC-750 Electronics Exploration Kit contains instructions for an incredible 750 different projects, so your child can enjoy many hours of exciting experimentation. They can build an AM radio, a sound-activated switch, and even a lie detector!
The set can be connected to a computer using the software and cable provided. It is suitable for children aged between 8 and 15 years. I found it helps children understand basic circuits better when they relate the working electronic circuit boards they create to everyday electronic devices. What I like about Elenco’s Snap Circuits is the compatibility with other Elenco Electronics circuit kits and the versatility to use basic ideas to create unique electronics projects.
For kids aged eight years and above who like to build toys they can play with, here is a Snap Circuits R/C Rover Electronic Discovery Kit from Elenco. By following the detailed instruction manual, your child can create a working remote-controlled rover toy using the simple, snap-together components. The kit includes more than 30 individual components, including snap wires, electrodes, remote control, treaded plastic wheels, and other pieces to snap together on the plastic grid. Each one is numbered, which makes it nice and easy to locate.
I like that the kit also includes instructions for other rover configurations, plus different sample projects such as a salt-water detector and a generator. I found the Snap Circuits Rover a great starter kit for beginners, a fun educational toy, and the instruction book guides and inspires exciting projects.
The Snap Circuits FM Radio Kit is perfect for little engineers who like to use what they build. I think building and listening to AM or FM radio stations from the radio you have put together is a great gift for eight years and up.
I was happy to discover three other projects your child can build: a power amplifier, an electronic kazoo, and a trombone. Although innovative kids and electronics geeks do not require adult supervision, beginner readers may need help reading the instructions. I noticed one reviewer suggested more diagrams to make the instruction manual more user-friendly; I wouldn’t say I liked the idea of a text-based manual for younger kids, and I feel the reviewer has a great suggestion. However, I really liked this kit as a fun, interactive project for children.
Elenco’s Snap Circuits Alternatives: Are Snap Circuits worth it?
Yes, Snap Circuits are worth it as engaging, educational toys for kids, but there are several alternatives to Elenco Snap Circuits kits. Here are a few examples:
littleBits is a modular electronic building block system that allows you to create circuits and projects using a variety of modules. I think kids who enjoy building structures with LEGO will enjoy DIY LittleBits projects for kids. The modules snap together magnetically in a specific way, which makes it easy to experiment and create new circuits. I like the idea of snapping together in a particular way; kids will quickly discover if what they are building won’t work.
They have a wide range of projects, from simple circuits to more advanced projects. I think littleBits is an excellent alternative to Elenco’s Snap Circuits; they are very expensive though, which is a downside to littleBits. However, you can create a model with LittleBits by connecting it to household items, whereas Snap Circuits can extend using other Snap Circuit models and kits.
I found this littleBits Electronics Extended Kit you can use by itself or as an add-on to the littleBits Starter Kit. Kids can have fun playing with button components, light sensors, sound sensors, and more without wiring, programming, or soldering. I like that it comes with a storage box to keep everything together.
JoyLabz Makey Makey is a kit that allows you to turn everyday objects into touchpads and controllers, a working piece of technology. For example, you can create a banana piano or a game controller from Play-Doh. The kit is easy to use and comes with a variety of project ideas. I think Makey Makey is great for fun holiday experiments STEM kids will enjoy. I like that you already have most of the items at home.
I would say Makey Makey kits are engaging STEM kits for kids ages eight and up and an excellent birthday gift for young inventors, budding engineers, science novices, and computer geeks. I like this Makey Makey STEM kit for hands-on real learning fun.
Arduino is a popular open-source electronics platform that allows you to create your own projects using microcontrollers. I like that the Arduino boards are programmable, which is fun for coding enthusiasts, and you can use them to create everything from simple circuits to robots and interactive installations.
Another thing I like about Arduino is there are many resources available to learn Arduino, including project ideas and tutorials. For example, I found this Elegoo Uno project starter kit compatible with Arduino.
Snap Circuits sets are a great way to teach children about electronics and electrical circuits. If you are lucky, a fun snap circuit set will keep them away from their computer and games console for a few blessed hours!
Feature image courtesy of Flickr, CERDEC.