Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty
If you come across Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty, make sure it goes home with you. I have two nephews who are absolutely addicted to playing games on various consoles, smartphone, etc. If they’re not playing themselves, they’re enjoying watching others play their favourite games on YouTube.
It’s a challenge at times to get them to want to do anything else. Anything that’s not digital based.
That’s why this “Thinking” putty is pure gold.
The Northern Lights putty is all kinds of awesome. It comes with a tiny light that makes the putty glow when lit. Making ghosts that glow in the dark and move as the putty loses shape is highly entertaining.
My eldest nephew (Kit, 7 years old) is truly smitten with the Gold Rush putty. A magnet is included within the tin and the putty “comes alive” when its polarized magnetic filaments are activated. He’s absolutely gleeful when his putty monsters can dance!
The kids frequently ask to play with the putty over playing another video game. It’s refreshing, and I’m so grateful that they’ve found something to play with that encourages them to exercise their creative minds.
One tiny warning. They youngest (Henry, 3 years old,) absolutely LOVES his putty so much that he would squish it against any fabric he could when he was too excited to remember our cautions of only playing with putty at a designated table. We have a pillow that will forever be glittery because he loves his putty so much. It was a small price to pay, one that I’d gladly pay again. But just ensure your kids truly understand that their play should stay on hard, easy to clean, surfaces.
Litehawk DJ-BOT Robot
This little robot is all kinds of fun, and I was hard-pressed to not give this buddy the featured Geek's Choice spot. It's a super fun Bluetooth speaker with attitude. It's a great STEM gift, as you can program the DJ-Bot to dance to your favourite tunes with your favourite movies. It's fairly intuitive to work out with drag and drop functions for coding. Let your child pilot this robot with a tablet or smartphone as he grooves to your chosen music app (even free Youtube music from VEMO if you that's how you jam.) And when you're done playing music, let him amuse you with a ton of corny jokes at a tap of a button.
Available in store: Best Buy
Engino Inventor Bricks
Engino's Inventor bricks are easy to snap together. Each box comes with at least three different model instructions to explore from. Go online to find even more model instructions to design with. The box featured above is a beginner's set. It helps your child get the hang of reading Engino's how-to-build instructions, and the three different models to choose from are easy to build. One thing that isn't shown too much in STEM play is the idea that you can break things apart and rebuild again. It's a valuable lesson to show that first attempts might not be perfect, and it's absolutely okay to rebuild from the beginning. Celebrate change. What I'm hoping to explore with Kit soon are the robotics models that come with a tablet app for drag n drop programming!
Available in store: Toys R Us